Harley Quinn director Cathy Yan is first Asian female to helm DC Comics movie

Cathy Yan will direct a movie set to star Margot Robbie (above) in a return to her Suicide Squad role of Harley Quinn.
Cathy Yan will direct a movie set to star Margot Robbie (above) in a return to her Suicide Squad role of Harley Quinn.PHOTO: WARNER BROS

WASHINGTON (Washington Post) - Sundance winner Cathy Yan will direct a standalone movie based on DC Comics character Harley Quinn, sources say. The reporter turned indie film-maker will be the first Asian woman to helm a movie from the DC Comics universe.

Deadline reports that the movie is set to star Margot Robbie in a return to her Suicide Squad role of Harley Quinn, presumably with other big-name female DC Comics characters set to appear alongside her.

The announcement confirms that a movie with Robbie as Harley Quinn in the lead role is just as important to Warner Bros and DC Entertainment as the sequel to Suicide Squad, in which Robbie also is likely to star.

The movie will be based on the DC Comics title Birds Of Prey and follows Yan's debut film, Dead Pigs, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival this year. It won the World Cinema Dramatic Award For Ensemble Acting at the festival.

Indiewire reports that Yan's pitch for the DC movie was "exceptional" and her hire was supported by Robbie, who has been adamant that DC and Warner Bros. get a female director to helm the project. The script was written by Christina Hodson, who just got hired to write the Batgirl movie.

Yan, a former Wall St. Journal reporter, will be the second female film-maker to direct a DC film, following Patty Jenkins with Wonder Woman. The recently announced New Gods movie will also be helmed by a female director: Ava DuVernay.

Yan will play a lead role in deciding many factors that will make a Birds Of Prey film hit or miss with fans, namely: Who will be fighting alongside (or against) Robbie's Harley Quinn? Poison Ivy? Catwoman? And should a Birds Of Prey film utilise the connection Robbie has with Jared Leto's Joker from Suicide Squad or ignore him entirely?

As polarising as Suicide Squad was during its theatrical run in 2016, many agreed that Robbie's take on Quinn was one of the film's highlights, giving Warner Bros./DC the confidence to build a movie franchise around the character.