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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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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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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Margot Robbie rocks feathered dress at Birds of Prey premiere

Margot Robbie had fun with feathers at the world premiere of Birds of Prey in London on Wednesday night.The actress, who reprises the role of Harley Quinn in Cathy Yan’s new superhero movie, stepped out at the BFI IMAX in a black silk skirt from Dries …

Margot Robbie had fun with feathers at the world premiere of Birds of Prey in London on Wednesday night.

The actress, who reprises the role of Harley Quinn in Cathy Yan’s new superhero movie, stepped out at the BFI IMAX in a black silk skirt from Dries Van Noten along with a bralet top with black feathers attached and hot pink gloves.

A photo posted by stylist Kate Young on Instagram also showed Margot posing with a piece of mustard yellow silk around her arms, but the star must have decided to ditch that particular accessory before hitting the red carpet.

Hairstylist Bryce Scarlett was tasked with styling the 29-year-old’s blonde hair into textured waves, while her make-up artist Pati Dubroff played up the colours of her outfit by painting gold glitter onto her eyelids and giving her a slick of pink lipstick.

However, Margot wasn’t the only Birds of Prey castmember to opt for feathers at the event. Jurnee Smollett-Bell, who portrays Black Canary, opted for a quirky black ensemble with feathers attached to the hem of the skirt from Guy Laroche.

And the Australian shared in a chat with Entertainment Tonight that she and her colleagues had unexpectedly coordinated outfits regularly on the press tour.

“We’ve now started texting each other before getting ready. We’re like, ‘What are you wearing? OK, you are wearing black-and-white checkers. I was gonna wear that.’ But now we keep doubling up. I think we’re all just on the same page,” she smiled.

Elsewhere, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays Huntress, made a statement in a long red Zuhair Murad gown with a pleated skirt and bow detailing on the shoulders. She accessorised with a dice-shaped purse and jewellery from Bondeye and EF Collection.

Filmmaker Cathy, as well as co-stars Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, and Ella Jay Basco, were also in attendance.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) hits cinemas from 5 February.

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Cathy Yan to direct Harley Quinn spin-off

Filmmaker Cathy Yan has reportedly signed on to direct Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn spin-off. The I, Tonya star portrayed the supervillain in Suicide Squad and became such a hit among fans film executives at Warner Bros. started planning a spin-off, i…

Filmmaker Cathy Yan has reportedly signed on to direct Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn spin-off.

The I, Tonya star portrayed the supervillain in Suicide Squad and became such a hit among fans film executives at Warner Bros. started planning a spin-off, in which she would star.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Yan has now joined the project, which will be based on the Birds of Prey comic book series. Yan becomes the second woman to direct a DC Comics film, following Patty Jenkins’ wildly successful Wonder Woman, which starred Gal Gadot as the super-powered Amazonian princess.

Christina Hodson, who was recently picked to write Batgirl, is penning the script and Robbie is producing the movie under her LuckyChap company, alongside Sue Kroll and Bryan Unkeless.

The film is scheduled to begin production at the end of the year (18).

The sequel to Suicide Squad is also slated to start filming this year and will be directed by Gavin O’Connor. Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto, and the rest of the cast are all expected to reprise their villain-turned-hero roles for Suicide Squad 2.

Meanwhile, Leto will also reportedly reprise his role as The Joker in the Harley Quinn spin-off, and last year (17) he opened up about working with Margot.

“It was an incredible experience,” he told the Kyle and Jackie O show. “Everybody was amazing. Margot Robbie (is) one of the nicest people, one of the best actresses I’ve ever worked with, and I really loved working with her.

“I thought the scenes and what we did together was some of the most fun I’ve ever had on a set before. But everything’s great in that world, and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”

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