Set to be directed by Cathy Yan, the DC Extended Universe's Birds of Prey movie is really starting to move its gears. There have been rumors circling about the actors who might join the project, and earlier this week it even got a release date. Now it seems as though the project has taken yet another big step forward by picking two new names to join Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn in the film, specifically Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress and Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary.
We learned about a bunch of the actors in contention for the lead roles in Birds of Prey at the end of last week - with both Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jurnee Smollett-Bell both mentioned - and now it looks like they are prepping to close their deals. This news comes to us from a Variety report, though their wording makes it sounds like the deals aren't 100 percent completed just yet.
In the DCEU film we will see a similar version to the Helena Bertinelli a.k.a. Huntress that was featured in the CW's Arrowverse - where the character was played by Jessica Elise De Gouw. She has an interesting backstory as a heroine, as she is a former mob princess who lost her family at a young age, ultimately turning to a life led as a masked vigilante. Black Canary, meanwhile (who was also featured in the Arrowverse, played by Katie Cassidy) is a crimefighter best known for her ultrasonic scream - which at full capacity is powerful enough to potentially shatter planet Earth. It's not clear exactly how they will link up with Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey, but at the very least they are connected by the fact that they have all been are Gotham residents.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead has a bit of experience in the realm of comic book movies, having previously starred in Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, but over the years we have also seen her name listed among those in contention for some interesting superhero movie roles. Specifically, she was on the shortlist to play Domino in Deadpool 2 (a role that eventually went to Zazie Beetz), and there was some buzz about her years ago potentially playing Sharon Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In summation, it's about time she got a chance to play in this genre, and Huntress is a great fit for her.
Jurnee Smollett-Bell, meanwhile, is better known for her work on the small-screen, and has been performing for most of her life. She got her start with recurring roles on Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Full House, and Cosby in the 1990s, but since 2009 she has had busy with series like Friday Night Lights, The Defenders, The Mob Doctor, Do No Harm, Parenthood, True Blood, Underground, and most recently Sofia The First and Lovecraft Country (which will be coming next year). She does have a few features on her filmmography, including the boxing drama Hands of Stone with Edgar Ramirez and Robert De Niro, but Birds of Prey will be her biggest film to date.
There was a long stretch of time when we didn't know what DC Extended Universe film would come after Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 1984, but now their upcoming schedule is starting to solidify. With a script written by Christina Hodson, the movie will be moving into production early next year, and is currently scheduled to be released on February 7, 2020. Not much is known about the plot of the film, though the new trade reports offers that there will be a showdown with a "Gotham crime lord who has yet to be unveiled."