Get out your baseball bats. The DCEU may be in a bit of a tumult now, but it seems the Harley Quinn standalone film – starring Margot Robbie – is chugging along: and it just got a director, Cathy Yan, whose Dead Pigs got notice at Sundance earlier this year.
Yan will direct from a script by Christina Hodson, who is also writing a Batgirl film, and it’s said to be based on Birds of Prey.
Yan is the second director who is not a man to be tapped for a DCEU film, after Patty Jenkins, and we all know how that turned out. Fingers crossed! Deadline reported the news.
This is a bold bet for Warner Bros’ Geoff Johns and Walter Hamada, who oversee DC under Toby Emmerich. Yan got the job over numerous well established male directors, and because she is taking this giant leap with just one small-budget indie movie under her belt. That would be 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 was exceptional, and Robbie held firm to her desire for this film to be directed by a woman.
Well good for you, Margot Robbie! And good for you Walter Hamada and Geoff Johns! Countless male directors have been given a shot at directing huge tentpole films after just an indie “demo reel” so why not allow others to have a shot as well?
Given the chaotic state of the DC film slate, this is not even the only Harley Quinn film in development! There’s a Suicide Squad sequel with director Gavin O’Connor attached; a Harley Quinn Vs The Joker film that slakes WB execs thirst to see “Vs” in a titles; and Gotham City Sirens which has David Ayers attached.
You may not have heard of Dead Pigs, but it sounds intriguing:
In that film, a mysterious stream of pig carcasses floats silently toward China’s populous economic hub, Shanghai. As authorities struggle to explain the phenomenon, characters intersect. They include a down-and-out pig farmer with a youthful heart struggles to make ends meet, an upwardly mobile landowner fighting gentrification against an American expat seeking a piece of the Chinese dream, a romantic busboy hides his job from his father, and a rich young woman struggling to find her independence.
Here’s a still, which is either an homage or rip from Kung Fu Hustle, but it’s good to steal from the best.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.