'Birds Of Prey' Director Cathy Yan Confirms R-Rating, Opens Up About Landing The Gig

When Warner Bros. finally releases Birds of Prey there are going to be a lot of eyes on it. Described by star Margot Robbie as a "girl-gang film", it's expected to maintain the incredible popularity of Robbie's Harley Quinn character while debuting other major female heroes into the DCEU. You'd think a more experienced hand at directing superhero movies would've been chosen, and yet somehow indie filmmaker Cathy Yan, of the little seen film Dead Pigs, landed the gig. Speaking with Deadline, Yan talked about how she got the job while also confirming an earlier promise made by Robbie.

“I did my homework,” Yan said. She talked about reading the script by Christina Hodson, who is also writing a Batgirl movie right now, and it motivated her to come up with a unique pitch that would set her apart from other directors.

“I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it was relatively painless and straightforward. I immediately loved the script and it felt like something I could really do, and it felt very much like my own voice. It came out of me. I have never done any of these things and I asked my agents for examples to get a better sense: I put together a pitch deck and also assembled a sizzle reel. But I would say it wasn’t like a lot of other sizzle reels which reference other films that remotely feel like your film. I find those to be rather pointless. But I created my own version that thematically and tonally conveyed what you would feel [in my movie].”

Earlier this year, producer and star Margot Robbie promised Birds of Prey would be an "R-rated girl gang film", and Yan confirms the mature rating. The film features Robbie's Harley Quinn, Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), and Cassandra Cain possibly doing battle with villain Black Mask. It should be a very violent story and looks like it will be, but Yan promises a twisted sense of humor as well...

“I could not put the script down, it had so much dark humor to it which a lot of my work does, and there are themes of female empowerment which are so strong and relatable. So I went in with, not with confidence, but at least a sense that I belonged in the room, that somehow magically in terms of timing and luck that this opportunity was open to me and I was definitely going to make the best of it.”

Birds of Prey opens February 7th 2020.