Shortlist Of Actresses Revealed For Birds of Prey

Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are being considered for leading roles in Warner Bros.’ female superhero team-up film “Birds of Prey,” TheWrap has learned.

Smollett-Bell is being eyed to play Dinah Lance, AKA Black Canary, while Mary Elizabeth Winstead is on the wish list for Helena Bertinelli, better known as Huntress.

Smollett-Bell is best known for her work in the series Underground and Hands of Stone. As for Winstead, she has starred in a lot of genre films such as Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Live Free or Die Hard, and Death Proof.

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Other names under consideration for the film, which will be centered around “Suicide Squad” standout Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, include Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Cristin Milioti, Sofia Boutella, Justina Machado, Roberta Colindrez, and Margaret Qualley. Mbatha-Raw is also being looked at as a possible Black Canary while Milioti, Boutella and Qualley is in the mix for Huntress. Machado and Colindrez are being looked at for Renee Montoya.

But insiders with knowledge of the project caution that it is still early in the selection process and no offers have been made. However, the actors need to be locked down for the roles by the end of September in order to complete training in fight choreography before principal photography begins in January.

Robbie will produce “Birds of Prey” and reprise her “Suicide Squad” character, Harley Quinn. The film follows the adventures of a revolving group of female heroes and villains and is based on the DC Comics characters and concepts created by Jordan B. Gorfinkel and Chuck Dixon.

In addition, TheWrap has exclusively learned that the villain in “Birds of Prey” will be Black Mask, one of Batman’s foes who has never before appeared on the big screen.

Cathy Yan is set to direct. Yan is best known for writing and directing her feature debut “Dead Pigs,” which took home the World Cinema Dramatic Award For Ensemble Acting at Sundance earlier this year.

An updated list of major Hollywood film and television projects with their accompanying working titles has been posted on industry website Production Weekly listing the upcoming DC superteam film under the working title “Fox Force Five”.

The revealed working title is a reference to the fictional television pilot from Quentin Tarantino’s classic 1994 film Pulp Fiction. The proposed series starred Uma Thurman’s character as part of a five-woman crimefighting team going on missions all over the world.

No official release date has been set for the film.