‘Warner Bros and DC Entertainment have chosen Cathy Yan to be the director of an untitled girl gang movie, starring Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. A deal has yet to be completed, but Cathy Yan is expected to become the second female filmmaker to join the DC after Patty Jenkins, and the first female Asian director ever tapped to direct a superhero film.
This is a bold bet for Warner Bros’ Geoff Johns and Walter Hamada, who oversee DC under Toby Emmerich. Yan’s only directorial feature to date is Dead Pigs, a film that won the World Cinema Dramatic Award For Ensemble Acting at Sundance last January. Despite being a new talent, Yan’s presentation for Birds of Prey is reported to have been was exceptional. In addition, Robbie has held firm to her desire for this film to be directed by a woman.
Robbie’s LuckyChap is producing with Sue Kroll and her Kroll & Co Entertainment and Bryan Unkeless of Clubhouse Pictures.
The project is based on Birds of Prey, which in the DC universe team-up with female crime fighters. It is not confirmed what characters would be in the film. What is clear is that both the main characters and most of the creative brain trust are female, remarkable for a studio-sized superhero film. The script was written by Christina Hodson, who wrote the Transformers spinoff Bumblebee, and just got hired to write the Batgirl movie. The comics originally never included Harley Quinn, but featured a team-up of Black Canary, Barbara Gordon, Huntress, Lady Blackhawk and sometimes featuring characters like Catwoman, Katana, Hawkgirl, and Poison Ivy. It will be interesting to see how they fit Harley Quinn into this team. Though one could criticise, why doesn’t the studio think Harley Quinn has the star power to carry her own film like in the comics? She certainly carried Suicide Squad, and Margot Robbie has become a big name. On the other hand, the blessing of doing a Birds of Prey film would be the introduction to a whole slew of amazing female superheroes. Becuase their currents team certainly lighting up our imaginations! At least we can assume this is where Batgirl will get her introduction.
This film looks cleared to start production by year’s end or early next year after Robbie completes Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Other Harley Quinn films are still under construction. That includes the Suicide Squad sequel to be directed by Gavin O’Connor and Harley Quinn Vs The Joker and Gotham City Sirens with Suicide Squad helmer David Ayer.
Yan was a Wall Street Journal reporter who worked from New York, Hong Kong, and Beijing, and one of the paper’s youngest reporters to land multiple stories on the front page. She wrote and directed numerous short films before stepping up to features with Dead Pigs.
Yan is repped by CAA and attorney Jerry Dasti of Sloss Eckhouse Law.