As Warners is moving towards an actual production start of its Birds Of Prey comic book adaption to be headlined by Margot Robbie, it has now entered the process of testing several actresses for the roles of Black Canary and the Huntress.
According to the Hollywood Reporter‘s sources, the studio is currently looking at Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), Jurnee Smolett-Bell (A Wrinkle In Time) and Janelle Monae (Hidden Figures) as possibilities for the role of superheroine Black Canary. Mbatha-Raw and Smolett-Bell have reportedly already auditioned, while it is unclear if Monae has tested with the studio or not.
For the role of Huntress, the studio has either tested or read Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane) and Cristin Milioti (How I Met Your Mother).
The film will also feature the character of lesbian Gotham City police detective Renee Montoya, with Justina Machado (Netflix’s One Day At A Time) and Roberta Colindrez (Amazon series I Love Dick) testing. Producers are also looking for a young Asian actress to play the role of twelve-year-old Cassandra Cain.
Cathy Yan is attached to direct, with Robbie reprising her popular Suicide Squad character of Harley Quinn.
In the comics, the Birds of Prey are a group of female superheros brought together by a wheelchair-bound Barbara Gordon to fight crime. Black Canary and Huntress are the other core members of the group, which has also seen its roster padded out with other female heroes. Although Detective Montoya was not part of the group, it makes sense to include her character as the series was set in DC Comics fictional Gotham City. Montoya eventually takes over the role of non-superpowered crime fighter The Question, after the original, Vic Sage, dies. The film’s take on Cassandra Cain seems to be setting her character at an early part of her overall career. In the comics, Cassandra is a mute woman who was raised to be an assassin and who took over the mantle of Batgirl for a time. Interestingly, the character of Harley Quinn was never a member of the Birds of Prey.
The Reporter states that decisions on casting should be made within two weeks, with cameras expected to roll early in the new year.