Not to be outdone by today’s DC TV casting news, the DC Cinematic Universe is adding two new names to its roster. Variety is reporting that Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead have been cast as Black Canary and Huntress, respectively, in DC Entertainment’s forthcoming Birds of Prey film. The pair join Margot Robbie, returning as Harley Quinn after 2016’s Suicide Squad.
Black Canary (Dinah Lance) and Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) are two-thirds of the comic book Birds of Prey team, led in the field by Barbara Gordon in either her Batgirl or Oracle identity, depending on the era. It’s unclear at this point whether Babs will appear in the Birds of Prey film or not.
This is not the first time that either Dinah or Helena has been portrayed in live action – who could forget the 2002 Birds of Prey television series? (Yes, yes, the Huntress on that show was the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. Semantics.) Both characters have also appeared on the CW’s Arrow, and Black Canary appeared previously on Smallville. She also appeared on the Legends of the Super-Heroes specials back in the ’70s, but it’s probably best to forget about those.
Jurnee Smollett-Bell has been acting since she was a child – one of her earliest roles was as Michelle Tanner’s friend, Denise, on Full House. As an adult she’s been a series regular on NBC’s Friday Night Lights, HBO’s True Blood, and WGN America’s Underground, as well as starring in Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is perhaps best known to the comic book community for her role as Ramona Flowers in 2010’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Since then she has gone on to big screen starring roles in 10 Cloverfield Lane and Smashed, and on TV in the criminally-underrated BrainDead and the third season of FX’s critically-acclaimed Fargo.
Directed by Cathy Yan and with a screenplay by Christina Hodson, Birds of Prey is scheduled for release on February 7th, 2020.