The DC Extended Universe has been steadily growing in momentum over the past few years, with director-driven projects that were well-received by audiences and critics alike. While the fandom is eagerly anticipating the upcoming release of Wonder Woman 1984, the most recent DCEU installment was Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), a wild ride through the title character's psyche. Birds of Prey's villain was Ewan McGregor's Black Mask, with the actor stealing the show with his mixture of privilege and psychosis. And now Yan has shut down a rumor involving the character's nude photographs.
Black Mask was a fascinating figure in Birds of Prey, as the character was the physical embodiment of misogyny and privilege. Ewan McGregor's characterization was equal parts unnerving and hilarious, and one popular rumor was that the movie originally had a character involving his nudes before ended up on the cutting room floor. But director Cathy Yan recently addressed this reports about the reported "dick pics" on social media, saying:
Well, there you have it. It looks like Birds of Prey was never going to include any plot line involving Black Mask's dick picks. And while she appreciates support of her film, this rumor never had any roots in reality.
Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey clarification comes to us from the filmmaker's personal Twitter page. She's been regularly using social media to directly communicate with the fans, including her support for the movie's early arrival in homes. But this time she used the platform to officially shut down a rumor about her DC debut, and the concept of a subplot revolving around Black Mask's dick pics.
Aside from being a fun action romp, Birds of Prey is also features a commentary about sexism, especially where Black Mask is involved. His dialogue paints a nauseating world view, which also served as fodder for jokes throughout the movie's 109-minute runtime. Meanwhile, the horrifying table dance scene in Black Mask's club shows how his fragility factors into his life as a Gotham kingpin.
A subplot about Black Mask's nudes seem like another way to hammer the character's misogyny and fragile ego, so it makes sense that this rumor got some steam. But Cathy Yan isn't holding her tongue, and wants to clear up any misconceptions about her vision for Birds of Prey. The movie never went full dick pic, despite any reports to the contrary.
Ewan McGregor's performance was so strong in Birds of Prey that its a shame we won't see him in the DCEU again. The character's fate was clear in the movie's ending, and there's no plausible way to bring him back for any possible sequel. Meanwhile, The Batman will bring more iconic villains to the shared universe for the first time.
The next installment in the DCEU is Wonder Woman 1984 on August 14th. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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