Last week, it was reported that Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and more were testing for a variety of roles in Cathy Yan‘s Birds of Prey. The film is a DC spinoff centering on some of the comic’s greatest female superheroes. And according to those same reports, WB wanted to bring diversity to the film. A welcome addition to the film, especially when you saw who they were looking at to play Black Canary.
And now, they’ve found their Canary and Huntress. According to new reports, Smollett-Bell will be playing Canary, while Winstead joins the cast as Huntress. More on the report below.
Variety was the first to report on the news. Winstead and Smollett-Bell will now be joining Margot Robbie, who will be reprising her role as Harley Quinn, in WB’s latest DC film about a group of female superheros who will defend Gotham against Black Mask.
Winstead will play Huntress, whose origins are a bit unclear as there are two different versions of the character. In one version, she is Helena Wayne, the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle on Earth-Two. With a good upbringing, Helena went on to work for Dick Grayson’s law firm. But she took up vigilantism when a criminal blackmailed her mother into resuming action once again as Catwoman â€” an act which eventually led to her death. She would create her own weapons and costumes and bring the criminal that killed her mother to justice, and continued to fight crime under the moniker Huntress.
In another version, there is Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of a mob boss, who after seeing her entire family killed vowed revenge on those who killed them. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went with Bertinelli in Birds of Prey in order to avoid any continuity issues and the overly complex family tree.
Smollett-Bell will play Dinah Lance, who fights crime and corruption wherever it is. While she has the best hand-to-hand combat of any members of the Justice League, Lance is probably best known for her Canary Cry ability, which is a superpower that allows her to incapacitate villains with a high-powered sonic scream. The Cloverfield Paradox‘s Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Hidden Figures‘ Janelle Monae were also considered for the role.
While the two roles have been cast, the roles of Detective Renee Montoya and Cassandra Cain remain. One Day at a Time star Justina Machado and Vida‘s Roberta Colindrez are the frontrunners for Montoya, while Yan and WB are looking to cast Cain with a 12-year-old Asian. WB is aiming to finish casting these roles within the next few weeks and hoping to start production early next year.
Written by Christina Hodson, Birds of Prey opens theaters on February 7, 2020.