Ewan McGregor’s Birds Of Prey Mask Could Have Looked Very Different

Ewan McGregor as Black Mask in Birds of Prey
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

In the pages of the Batman comic books, tons of spine-chilling villains have opposed the heroes of Gotham. In Birds of Prey, Roman Sionis a.k.a. Black Mask, is the featured villain that Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and her company of birds are threatened by. Ewan McGregor’s portrayal of Black Mask was a fun addition to Cathy Yan’s flick, but as you might guess, his iconic mask went through a few iterations during the development of the movie.

Kyle Brown is Birds of Prey’s concept artist, and he's also worked on the designs in Ready Player One, Andy Muschietti’s IT films and Disney’s upcoming live-action Mulan. He shared a number of concepts for Romy’s mask, and the final look for Ewan McGregor’s character could have been a lot different. Check this one out:

Black Mask concept art, Birds of Prey

(Image credit: (Kyle Brown))

Nice! Over on Art Station, Kyle Brown called the above mask his “earliest exploration” of the character. It’s the closest design to the source material of the new DCEU villain, who simply looks like he has a skull-shaped black mask over his face. Still, this concept art has Roman wearing a much more metallic covering than the version seen in Birds of Prey. Here’s another one:

Birds of Prey concept art, Black Mask

(Image credit: (Kyle Brown))

Kyle Brown explained that Black Mask was supposed to be “high fashion,” and this version of the Black Mask leans into this influence the most. This black mask is much more boxy-looking and almost robotic. Ewan McGregor’s mask certainly implemented this shade of leather, but its shape is completely different than what we saw in the movie. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of this one. Check out the concept design that most closely resembles the final mask:

Black Mask concept art Birds of Prey

(Image credit: (Kyle Brown))

Each of these concepts are quite different from one another! After the original design had the mask covering the entire top of Ewan’s head as well, Kyle Brown went with one that just covers the front of Roman’s face and leaves more room around his eyes than the other looks.

At one point in the DC Comics mythos, Black Mask could not actually take off his mask. It fused onto his face during a fire. But since Ewan McGregor is playing the character, audiences expect to see the actor’s profile. Plus, it can help a movie if there is a recognizable face playing a character.

Birds of Prey did not meet box office expectations over its first weekend, making just $33 million on the domestic front. However, worldwide it has already made about as much as the movie’s production budget ($85 million), so there’s hope for it yet!

What did you think of Black Mask’s look in Birds of Prey? Sound off in the comments below and vote in our poll.

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Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.