The Birds of Prey have found their villain. THR reports that actor Ewan McGregor has been cast in the upcoming DC Cinematic Universe film as Roman Sionis, aka Black Mask. McGregor joins Fargo Season 3 castmate Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Huntress) in the film, as well as Jurnee Smollett-Bell (Black Canary), Rosie Perez (Renee Montoya), and Margot Robbie (reprising her Suicide Squad role of Harley Quinn).
Ewan McGregor has a long list of credits including the aforementioned Fargo (in which he played twin brothers), as well as Trainspotting, Big Fish, Moulin Rouge, and Star Wars: Episodes I-III.
Black Mask first appeared in Batman #386, and was created by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake. Sionis, a top executive with the failing Janus Cosmetics, became obsessed with the ‘masks’ that people wear, and ultimately turned to a life of crime, carving a mask for himself out of his father’s ebony casket. His henchmen were made to wear various masks from around the world in carrying out Sionis’s scheme for revenge against Bruce Wayne, a childhood friend who had offered to bail out Janus Cosmetics on the condition that Sionis cede control of the company to Wayne Enterprises. Post-Crisis, Black Mask became a crime boss, his look eventually evolving into that of a head that is a literal black skull. The character has had run-ins with Batman and Catwoman, and was apparently killed by Robin Damian Wayne in the recent Teen Titans Special, though he has also appeared in the future-set Doomsday Clock, so clearly death didn’t take.
The character has previously appeared in animation, and a version named Richard Sionis was featured in an early episode of Gotham, but this will be the first live-action depiction of Roman Sionis. If he is the head of a cosmetics company in Birds of Prey, he would join Sharon Stone’s character from Catwoman as the second evil cosmetics company executive to appear in a DC film.
Directed by Cathy Yan, Birds of Prey is due out in early 2020.
Joe Grunenwald is a writer and editor living in the Pacific Northwest. He’s taller than a lot of people but not as tall as some people.