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Harley Quinn Movie: Warner Bros. Chooses Sundance Winner Cathy Yan to Direct Over Bigger Names

Yan will make history as the first female Asian director to helm a superhero film.


Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment have chosen relative newcomer Cathy Yan to direct Margot Robbie in an untitled Harley Quinn movie, Deadline confirms. The film is expected to be based on the “Birds of Prey” comics storyline and feature numerous female characters from the DC universe teaming up with Robbie’s Harley. Once the deal closes, Yan will become the first female Asian director to helm a superhero film.

According to Deadline, Yan was chosen as the director over numerous “well-established male filmmakers.” Yan only has one feature to her name: An indie film called “Dead Pigs” that won the World Cinema Dramatic Award For Ensemble Acting at Sundance earlier this year. Yan’s pitch for the DC movie was “exceptional” and her hire was supported by Robbie, who has been adamant 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.

Production on the untitled tentpole is expected to begin late this year or in early 2019. Robbie is close to signing a deal to star as Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” so production on the DC movie won’t start until after that film is completed. Robbie is also set to appear as Harley Quinn in “Suicide Squad 2,” directed by Gavin O’Connor, and David Ayer’s “Gotham City Sirens.” Deadline reports Yan’s movie will be first on the docket.

Yan is a former Wall Street Journal reporter who directed numerous short films before making her feature debut. “Dead Pigs” tells the story of a group of people in Shanghai, China figuring out their lives in the aftermath of a mysterious stream of pig carcasses floating into the city.

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