Birds of Prey Movie Adds Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Birds of Prey Movie Adds Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jurnee Smollett-Bell

Following last week’s report of potential actresses being considered for key roles in Birds of Prey, Deadline reports that Fargo actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Underground‘s Jurnee Smollett-Bell have officially won the roles of Huntress and Black Canary, respectively. Warner Bros. Pictures’ highly-anticipated superhero film is set to be release in February 7, 2020.

In her earliest appearances, Huntress was Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. During the ’80s, Huntress was re-imagined as Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of a mob boss. Helena became a brutal vigilante after the death of her family.

Meanwhile, Black Canary’s alter ego was Dinah Drake/Dinah Laurel Lance. At first, she initially doesn’t possessed any powers but in the later stories she was best known as world-class martial arts artist with a superpower called canary cry.

RELATED: Birds of Prey Release Date Set for February 2020

The Birds of Prey project was initially announced ahead of the release of Suicide Squad in summer 2016, with Warner Bros. developing the film with Robbie’s Harley Quinn as the villain and featuring a number of female DC characters, with the likes of Batgirl and the Birds of Prey reportedly also in the mix for the film. The script was penned by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee), who was recently announced to take over scripting duties on DC’s Batgirl solo movie after Joss Whedon’s departure.

Robbie herself was the springboard for the project, having fallen for the pantheon of DC’s female characters in her extensive research for the role of Harley Quinn. The Birds of Prey project will now apparently take priority as the next film to feature the popular Quinn character, with production expected to begin by the end of 2018 or early 2019. A Suicide Squad sequel to be directed by Gavin O’Connor is also in active development, but Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s Harley Quinn Vs The Joker romance movie and David Ayer’s Gotham City Sirens now appear to be on the backburner.

The Birds of Prey are a mostly female superhero team whose ranks in the DC source material has included Oracle/Batgirl, Black Canary, Huntress, Catwoman, Hawkgirl, Power Girl, Poison Ivy, Vixen, and Katana (Karen Fukuhara), who appeared opposite Harley in Suicide Squad. A short-lived live action TV series titled Birds of Prey aired on The WB from 2002-to-2003 for 13 episodes, and starred Ashley Scott as Huntress, Dina Meyer as Barbara Gordon/Oracle, Ian Abercrombie as Alfred Pennyworth and Mia Sara as Harley Quinn.

(Photo credit: Getty Images)