The film is likely the next to feature Suicide Squad all-star Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie. The deal to have Yan direct the project has yet to be finalized, but it is expected that Yan will become the second female filmmaker to oversee a DC film after Wonder Woman‘s Patty Jenkins, and the first female Asian to direct a superhero production.
The studio’s decision to tap Yan is a bold move by executives Geoff Johns and Walter Hamada, who oversee the production of the DC Extended Universe film slate under Toby Emmerich. Yan was a candidate in a list of several accomplished and well-established male directors, and is advancing fast in her career with just one small budget film on her resume. Her film Dead Pigs, won the World Cinema Dramatic Award For Ensemble Acting at the Sundance Film Festival last January. Despite being a novice filmmaker, insider reports state that Yan’s presentation for Birds of Prey impressed the studio and Robbie, who stood firm on her desire to have the film be directed by a female.
Robbie’s production company LuckyChap is producing alongside Sue Kroll and her Kroll & Co Entertainment and Bryan Unkeless of Clubhouse Pictures. Robbie and Unkeless produced I, Tonya, which scored her the nomination for Best Actress at the Academy Awards.
The untitled project is based on DC’s Birds of Prey, which teams Quinn up with several heroines from across the DC Universe such as Black Canary, Batgirl/Oracle (Barbara Gordon), and the Huntress. It has yet to be confirmed if those characters will make their DC Extended Universe debuts in the film. What is known about the production though is that both the main cast and the creative braintrust behind it are mostly female, which is a remarkable feat for a big budget tentpole superhero film. The script was written by Christina Hodson, who wrote the script for Paramount’s upcoming Bumblebee spin-off to their Transformers franchise. Hodson was recently chosen to write Batgirl, another DC Extended Universe production.
The film is reportedly set to start production later this year or early 2019, after Robbie completes work on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. She is currently in negotiations to star in the film alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, which is being produced by Sony Pictures. The other DCEU Harley Quinn-related productions are currently in the pre-development or development stages. The other productions are the Suicide Squad sequel directed by Gavin O’Connor, which has been rumored to be released in August of next year. The other two, Harley Quinn Vs The Joker and Gotham City Sirens with Suicide Squad director David Ayer, both seem further away from either stages.
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