Margot Robbie fronting female-led Pirates of the Caribbean

Margot Robbie has signed up to lead a new female-focused version of Pirates of the Caribbean.The Australian actress will reteam with Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson for the Disney project, which is in the early stages of development with franchis…

Margot Robbie has signed up to lead a new female-focused version of Pirates of the Caribbean.

The Australian actress will reteam with Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson for the Disney project, which is in the early stages of development with franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

While plot details are currently under wraps, it is known that the movie is not a spin-off of the huge long-running franchise that featured Johnny Depp’s troublesome pirate Jack Sparrow, and is entirely separate from the previously-announced series reboot, currently being written by Ted Elliott and Craig Mazin.

Instead, it is a new female-centric original story with characters inspired by the long-running attraction at Disneyland in California, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

To date, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has spawned five blockbuster movies, grossing more than $4.5 billion (£3.6 billion) worldwide.

It began with 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which also starred Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, while the most recent instalment, Dead Men Tell No Tales, which featured Javier Bardem as the villainous Captain Salazar, hit theatres in 2017.

In addition to teaming up for their new Pirates of the Caribbean blockbuster, two-time Oscar nominee Margot and Christina launched the Lucky Exports Pitch Program last year, a new initiative aimed at getting more female writers hired by studios to write action movies.

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Cathy Yan denies Birds of Prey underwent extensive reshoots

Cathy Yan has denied claims suggesting her movie Birds of Prey was subject to extensive reshoots. Over the weekend, director David Ayer told his Twitter followers about a scene in his 2016 movie Suicide Squad that had to be reshot, and Yan expressed s…

Cathy Yan has denied claims suggesting her movie Birds of Prey was subject to extensive reshoots.

Over the weekend, director David Ayer told his Twitter followers about a scene in his 2016 movie Suicide Squad that had to be reshot, and Yan expressed sympathy with her fellow DC filmmaker and added, “I know the pain.”

Film writer Grace Randolph responded to the tweet by repeating her claim that Birds of Prey, starring Margot Robbie as Suicide Squad character Harley Quinn, underwent “massive reshoots” to remove a “d**k pics” storyline and that John Wick director Chad Stahelski was brought in to “add more action”.

Yan responded by tweeting: “Excuse me, you have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s fascinating you would deem to try when you weren’t part of the process whatsoever.”

In the ensuing exchange, it emerged the storyline in question regarded a classical statue of Ewan McGregor’s character Roman Sionis.

“The storyline was that you could see Roman’s d**k on the statue in the picture in the diamond – and he was upset it looked ‘small’ so that’s why he was so fixated on getting it back,” Randolph wrote, to which Yan replied, “This is not true. There has never been any discussion around the size of Roman’s d**k. I can’t believe I even have to write that! The original script called for an image of Roman as Michelangelo’s David. You know? Art?”

The director then explained to another user that the scene didn’t work and they only needed McGregor to record automated dialogue replacement (ADR) rather than reshoot anything.

“It was a joke to show how narcissist he is. It didn’t work – we all agreed – so we rewrote some ADR. That’s it. Absolutely no reshoots we’re devoted to this nonsense issue,” she wrote.

Birds of Prey, also starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell, was released in February.

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Patty Jenkins gave Cathy Yan pep talks before she made Birds of Prey

Patty Jenkins gave Cathy Yan pep talks to help boost her confidence before she made her first studio movie, Birds of Prey.Yan premiered her indie directorial debut, Dead Pigs, at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and three months later, she was announce…

Patty Jenkins gave Cathy Yan pep talks to help boost her confidence before she made her first studio movie, Birds of Prey.

Yan premiered her indie directorial debut, Dead Pigs, at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and three months later, she was announced as the director of the DC Comics movie, starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

She felt a lot of anxiety about becoming the second woman – and first Asian woman – to direct a DC film, so she turned to the first female DC director, Jenkins, for advice.

“I had impostor syndrome, as I think many people do. I came from an indie world and I had a matter of months between my first feature premiering at Sundance and then running the ship on Birds of Prey. There was an element of: Do I belong here? Can I do this? Like all the insecurities that anyone would have,” Yan told Vanity Fair. “I was working with such a high calibre of people, Oscar nominees, and people I admired from afar in the industry for such a long time. There is this moment when you go, ‘Wow, they’re all looking at me.’”

She added that Jenkins’ pep talks made her feel “able to lean into that confidence and say, ‘Yeah, damn right they should be looking at me. I’m the director!’ It was just that little boost of confidence I think that was much needed.”

In the feature, the Wonder Woman filmmaker shared that her own role models included directors like Penny Marshall, Mimi Leder, Kathryn Bigelow, and Nora Ephron, and insisted that she doesn’t believe female filmmakers do a fundamentally different job than their male counterparts.

“I think the only thing that’s important about being a woman filmmaker is knowing what not to pay attention to, and just try to blow through it,” the director stated. “Being a filmmaker is being a filmmaker.”

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Cathy Yan fought to keep ‘uncomfortable’ scene in Birds of Prey

Cathy Yan fought to keep an “uncomfortable” scene involving Ewan McGregor in Birds of Prey.In the comic book adaptation, the 49-year-old actor plays Gotham City crime lord Roman Sionis, who goes up against Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and her powerful …

Cathy Yan fought to keep an “uncomfortable” scene involving Ewan McGregor in Birds of Prey.

In the comic book adaptation, the 49-year-old actor plays Gotham City crime lord Roman Sionis, who goes up against Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and her powerful gang of crime-fighting women as they try to take him down.

In one scene, Roman cruelly demeans and humiliates a woman named Erika at his nightclub, and Yan revealed that there was a lot of discussion between her, the producers and bosses at Warner Bros. over keeping the moment in the film.

“I’ll be honest: We had to fight to keep that scene because it was uncomfortable. It was risky, and we had to fight to keep it at all,” she told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that they had even cut it out at one stage.

However, she’s glad it was kept in because she believed it was important to help the character development of Roman and Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s vigilante Black Canary, who works in the crime lord’s nightclub.

“I think that a lot of people have been very impacted by that scene. I think it’s a huge turning point for Roman; it’s a huge turning point for Canary, and the way that we shot it was hopefully not about the sexual violence upon the woman,” Yan shared. “It was more about Roman, what he’s capable of and Canary seeing him for who he really is for the first time… Now, she can fully cut herself off from him, and I thought it was a really important scene. So, we fought for it.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Yan heaped praise on leading lady Margot, recalling how she was blown away by her ability to fully encompass her character.

“She acts with her entire body in a way, which is really interesting. She changes the way that she moves depending on the character that she’s playing, yet she’s still able to switch it off and on,” she gushed. “She’s really incredible in that way.”

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Cathy Yan disappointed by Birds of Prey’s opening weekend

Director Cathy Yan was disappointed with the box office performance of her movie Birds of Prey during its opening weekend.The comic book adaptation, starring Margot Robbie, was released in February, and despite high expectations from the director herse…

Director Cathy Yan was disappointed with the box office performance of her movie Birds of Prey during its opening weekend.

The comic book adaptation, starring Margot Robbie, was released in February, and despite high expectations from the director herself and bosses at Warner Bros., it made just $33.3 million (£27 million) in North America in the first weekend, the lowest opening for a DC film since Jonah Hex in 2010.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Yan admitted the movie struggled under the weight of the “undue expectations” placed upon it.

“I know that the studio had really high expectations for the movie – as we all did. There were also undue expectations on a female-led movie, and what I was most disappointed in was this idea that perhaps it proved that we weren’t ready for this yet,” she shared.

Yan, the first Asian woman to direct a DC film or any U.S. superhero film, also candidly admitted that her ethnicity and gender felt like an “extra burden” on the female-fronted movie.

“That was an extra burden that, as a woman-of-colour director, I already had on me anyway,” she stated. “So, yes, I think there were certainly different ways you could interpret the success or lack of success of the movie, and everyone has a right to do that… But, I definitely do feel that everyone was pretty quick to jump on a certain angle.”

Robbie reprised her role as the unhinged DC Comics character Harley Quinn for Birds of Prey, which saw her join forces with a group of women to overthrow Gotham City’s crime lord Black Mask.

Since its disappointing opening weekend, Birds of Prey has gone on to make more than £200 million (£163 million) at the worldwide box office. After the cinemas closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Warner Bros. executives decided to bring the film’s at-home release forward, and it will be available to view digitally from 27 April.

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Trolls World Tour to debut at home and in cinemas simultaneously

Animated sequel Trolls World Tour will be released on home entertainment and cinemas on the same day due to the impact the coronavirus crisis is having on theatrical releases.After big blockbusters such as No Time to Die, Fast and Furious 9, A Quiet Pl…

Animated sequel Trolls World Tour will be released on home entertainment and cinemas on the same day due to the impact the coronavirus crisis is having on theatrical releases.

After big blockbusters such as No Time to Die, Fast and Furious 9, A Quiet Place Part II, and Mulan postponed their releases, the animation, which features a voice cast led by Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, was thought to be the next studio release, with it scheduled to hit cinemas on 10 April.

However, on Monday, Universal Pictures representatives announced that they would be making the movie available on home entertainment and in cinemas on the same day.

In addition, they are also going to make films still showing in cinemas, such as horrors The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and period drama Emma, available on-demand from Friday.

“That’s right folks – due to…um…things happening in the world, we are releasing @TheInvisibleMan for streaming this Friday,” tweeted Leigh Whannell, the director of The Invisible Man. “So those who wanted to catch it in theatres but couldn’t will be able to view it from the safety of their biohazard containment zones (couch or bed).”

The films will be available for a 48-hour rental period at a suggested price of $19.99 (£16) each in the U.S. and for similar prices internationally.

The decision is a huge blow to cinemas, which have been forced to close or reduce seating in some areas due to new social distancing rules implemented to help halt the spread of Covid-19. The news follows a difficult box office weekend, with the North American box office plummeting to a two-decade low.

As a result, Warner Bros. executives have decided to make Birds of Prey, starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, available for digital purchase early, on 24 March. Disney bosses also made Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker available for digital purchase almost a week early and put Frozen II on their streaming service, Disney+, three months earlier than expected.

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead was disappointed she couldn’t ride motorcycle in Birds of Prey

Mary Elizabeth Winstead was disappointed she didn’t learn to ride a motorcycle for Birds of Prey.The 35-year-old plays Helena Bertinelli and her alter ego, Huntress, in the DC Comics action thriller, alongside co-stars Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, and J…

Mary Elizabeth Winstead was disappointed she didn’t learn to ride a motorcycle for Birds of Prey.

The 35-year-old plays Helena Bertinelli and her alter ego, Huntress, in the DC Comics action thriller, alongside co-stars Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell.

When Winstead accepted the role of the assassin in Cathy Yan’s movie, she was looking forward to the stunts, fight training, and more importantly, riding her character’s famous motorcycle.

However, her excitement was short-lived, as her stunt double Dena Sodano “got to have all the fun”.

“I did not get to do any motorcycle training. I thought I might when I read the script; I was excited. I thought I’d maybe get to learn how to ride a motorcycle, but since Huntress wears a helmet, there was no need,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.

Winstead’s previous ballet training also helped her while learning the fight choreography, which involved elements of jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and martial arts.

“I’m really grateful for that background. I think I automatically pick things up… I feel like I’m able to use my body and pick up the choreography in order to use it to move the story and character forward,” she explained.

And while the actress confessed that the comic book blockbuster was out of her comfort zone, she’s proud of herself for pushing her boundaries and becoming an action hero.

“Birds of Prey was definitely a big, huge leap in that direction for me to really train hard with a stunt team and go beyond what I’ve done before in terms of fight training and physicality. I really loved it,” Winstead gushed.

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Rosie Perez infuriated by lack of equality in Hollywood movies

Rosie Perez wants more to be done about the “infuriating” lack of female representation in Hollywood movies.The actress is currently starring alongside Anne Hathaway in Dee Rees’ political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted, and in an interview with Var…

Rosie Perez wants more to be done about the “infuriating” lack of female representation in Hollywood movies.

The actress is currently starring alongside Anne Hathaway in Dee Rees’ political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted, and in an interview with Variety, she shared her frustration that change wasn’t happening in Hollywood quickly enough.

“Do I think things are moving fast enough for women? No, absolutely not,” Perez fired. “I hate when they always put us on a certain course that we have to pace ourselves because they need to catch up. It’s infuriating.”

“I’m tired of standing in the line. I want to cut the line, and I want fabulous women like Anne and Dee to cut the line too. It’s like, ‘Why do we have to wait? Why do we have to pace ourselves because you can’t catch up?'” the Birds of Prey star continued. “So I think that a big change has been coming, but it’s not coming quick enough for me.”

Her co-star Anne added that she was sick of talking about equality in Hollywood, because “it’s happening”.

“Aren’t you ready to stop having this conversation? That’s where I’m at. People are walking the walk, people are doing it,” Hathaway shared, adding that people needed to be patient to wait for the changes to take effect.

“It’s happening. No, it’s not happening fast enough. Things are good. Things could get better. Let’s keep going. Let’s not panic and let’s keep talking about it,” the Oscar winner explained.

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead felt liberated working with Cathy Yan on Birds of Prey

Mary Elizabeth Winstead felt liberated working with “smart” director Cathy Yan on their movie Birds of Prey.The 35-year-old plays Helena Bertinelli, also known as Huntress, in the comic book action thriller, alongside Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, and Ju…

Mary Elizabeth Winstead felt liberated working with “smart” director Cathy Yan on their movie Birds of Prey.

The 35-year-old plays Helena Bertinelli, also known as Huntress, in the comic book action thriller, alongside Margot Robbie, Rosie Perez, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell.

And Winstead told The Hollywood Reporter it was refreshing working with the Chinese-American filmmaker and the female-dominated cast and crew.

“It feels great to not be standing behind a bunch of men, but to actually be standing in front of it as women with something that we made, something that we’re proud of and something that we put our blood, sweat and tears into,” she shared.

“I have never been a part of something that was so female heavy in terms of every single department and every single leading creative role, especially not in this genre, this budget level and all of those things.

“That was liberating, refreshing, exciting, fun and meaningful in every single way for me, and I think for the rest of the cast as well.”

The Fargo star, who was full of praise for director Yan, was given freedom to add her own interpretation of her comic book character to the role.

“She’s so smart, so confident, competent and fun,” she explained. “I was given quite a bit of freedom… to just read whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted, and take inspiration from whatever bits helped me or fit this version of the character that we’ve created in the movie.”

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Rosie Perez kept filming Birds of Prey fight scene despite injury

Rosie Perez refused to give up on a fight scene in Birds of Prey despite getting a knee injury.The actress plays Gotham City Police Department detective Renee Montoya in the DC Comics movie, which stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jurnee Smollett-Be…

Rosie Perez refused to give up on a fight scene in Birds of Prey despite getting a knee injury.

The actress plays Gotham City Police Department detective Renee Montoya in the DC Comics movie, which stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress.

The stars were required to embark on serious physical training to prepare for the movie, but Perez suffered an injury on the first day.

“After over 30 years of dancing, choreographing and doing martial arts, I thought my body was done,” she shared with U.S. Glamour magazine. “I was a bit panicked about it and on my first training day, the meniscus disc in my knee tore. I’m a grown-a*s woman and I was in tears – it was more about letting the squad down, letting Margot, Jurnee, and Mary down.”

The 55-year-old continued to train while attending physical rehab, but the injury returned again during a fight scene with Robbie. However, Perez was determined not to let her injury stand in the way of the sequence and simply carried on.

“My knee blew out again, when I had a fight with Margot and I went, ‘Oh, no, no, no!’ I looked over at Margot and she goes, ‘You’re okay.’ That is what your corner does in boxing,” the star recalled. “I was like, ‘There’s no freaking way I’m going to let this scene go. There’s no way, I’m better than that.’ I could take the punches and, literally, we were kicking each other.”

Meanwhile, the Do the Right Thing star also heaped praise on her co-stars, director Cathy Yan, and the crew for creating a supportive atmosphere on set and stated that the experience “reignited the power I already had”.

Birds of Prey is in cinemas now.

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