DC’s new gang of female characters has found a ringleader. Cathy Yan is in negotiations to direct Margot Robbie‘s untitled Harley Quinn spin-off film based on the Birds of Prey storyline in the comics, EW has learned.
The filmmaker follows in the footsteps of Patty Jenkins, who helmed the smash hit Wonder Woman and is returning for its sequel. Warner Bros. reportedly made a conscious effort to hire a female director for this Harley Quinn project.
Yan, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, will become the first Asian woman to direct a DC superhero film. She made her feature film debut with this year’s Dead Pigs, which screened at Sundance and won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Acting at the 2018 festival.
There are a lot of Harley Quinn-centric films in development, as Robbie herself has said. This one is being written by Christina Hodson, the screenwriter on the Bumblee Transformers spin-off and DC’s Batgirl. The film takes inspiration from the Birds of Prey comic, which typically features a trio of female heroes like Black Canary, Batgirl, and Huntress.
Robbie — who will also produce the film with Sue Kroll and Bryan Unkeless — will reprise the role she debuted in Suicide Squad. The screenplay is said to still be in the works, and any additional characters to be included will be confirmed at a later time.
News of Yan’s involvement on the project was first reported by Deadline.