Directors of superhero movies announced

Cathy Yan is first Asian woman to helm superhero film

Margot Robbie, who played the demented supervillain Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad (2016, left), will again take on the role in a new movie.
Margot Robbie, who played the demented supervillain Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad (2016, above), will again take on the role in a new movie.PHOTO: WARNER BROS-DC

WASHINGTON • Former Wall Street Journal reporter Cathy Yan will direct a Harley Quinn movie, becoming the first Asian woman to helm a superhero film, Deadline Hollywood reports.

The movie is set to star Margot Robbie as demented supervillain Harley, in a return to her role in Suicide Squad (2016).

The new film will be based on the DC Comics title Birds Of Prey and follows Yan's debut movie, Dead Pigs, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The comedy about discarded pig carcasses and overlapping human lives in Shanghai won a Special Jury Award for Ensemble Acting in the festival's world cinema dramatic competition.

Yan joins DC's growing roster of female directors, which includes Patty Jenkins of Wonder Woman (2017) and Ava DuVernay of the recently announced New Gods movie.

Yan, born in China and raised in the United States, got the job over established male directors despite being a new talent, says Deadline Hollywood.

Apparently, she had given an outstanding presentation and Robbie was adamant that a woman helm the movie.

Yan will play a lead role in deciding many factors that will make a Harley Quinn film a hit or a miss with fans, namely: Who will be fighting alongside or against Robbie's Harley? Poison Ivy? Catwoman?

And should the film utilise the connection Harley has with Jared Leto's Joker from Suicide Squad or ignore him entirely?

As polarising as Suicide Squad was during its theatrical run, many agreed that Robbie's take on Harley was one of the film's highlights, giving Warner Bros and DC the confidence to build a franchise around the character. Robbie is also likely to star in Suicide Squad 2.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2018, with the headline 'Cathy Yan is first Asian woman to helm superhero film'. Print Edition | Subscribe