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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James Gunn was told he could ‘do whatever he wants’ with any DC Comics’ character

James Gunn was told by Warner Bros. executives that he could do what he wants with any character from the DC Comics universe.Last year, the filmmaker was hired to helm The Suicide Squad, which is a loose sequel to David Ayer’s original 2016 blockbuster…

James Gunn was told by Warner Bros. executives that he could do what he wants with any character from the DC Comics universe.

Last year, the filmmaker was hired to helm The Suicide Squad, which is a loose sequel to David Ayer’s original 2016 blockbuster, and filming finished just before the Hollywood shutdown amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

In a Q&A on his Instagram Stories, Gunn was quizzed about the upcoming movie, which sees Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Viola Davis, and Joel Kinnaman reprise their roles, and revealed that when he was in early talks with Warner Bros. about helming the film, he was offered his pick of projects.

One follower asked the 53-year-old if the rumours that he was asked by studio bosses to direct a standalone Superman movie were true, prompting Gunn to set the record straight.

“No one offered me a specific film, but various characters were brought up. DC said I could do what I wanted with any of the characters,” he explained. “I chose Suicide Squad because of my love for the Ostrader books, and movies like The Dirty Dozen. I couldn’t be happier with the film so far!”

He also cryptically teased the future of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, and told followers that the third movie, which is currently on hiatus due to Covid-19, would be the last for him and his cast, including Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Zoe Saldana.

“It’s probably my last one, and probably the last with the current team. But you never know!” he quipped.

Elsewhere in the Q&A, Gunn revealed that helming a huge superhero ensemble blockbuster would never be in the pipeline for him.

“I haven’t been asked, but wouldn’t do it if I was,” he replied to one fan, who asked if he would ever direct an Avengers movie. “Just doesn’t appeal to me.”

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Cara Delevingne felt out of her depth filming Suicide Squad

Cara Delevingne felt out of her depth while filming Suicide Squad because she couldn’t believe she was acting alongside big A-list stars.The 27-year-old originally found fame as a model but had always wanted to pursue acting and she eventually landed…

Cara Delevingne felt out of her depth while filming Suicide Squad because she couldn’t believe she was acting alongside big A-list stars.

The 27-year-old originally found fame as a model but had always wanted to pursue acting and she eventually landed the co-lead role in 2015 teen drama Paper Towns, which helped her be considered for more studio projects.

She was subsequently cast as June Moone/Enchantress in David Ayer’s 2016 DC Comics movie, which marked her first time working on a big-budget blockbuster, alongside an A-list ensemble featuring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto, but Delevingne was terrified of acting alongside such famous actors.

“I was just so shocked,” she told Variety. “I was like, ‘How am I with these people? What is happening?’ I was so scared. I felt very out of my depth. I was like, ‘How did I trick them into getting me here?’”

Delevingne got her first taste of acting at boarding school and unsuccessfully tried out for parts in the Harry Potter movies and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. She continued looking for roles while her modelling career exploded, but she was unsatisfied with the scripts that came her way.

“I thought I would do anything,” the star explained. “But my agent would give me scripts, and I was like, ‘I’m not playing the dumb girl that gets killed.’”

Similarly, Delevingne would also take issue with some of the dialogue given to female characters in screenplays, with her adding: “No woman would say that. I’m sorry. It’s ridiculous.”

She has since had roles in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Her Smell and is currently starring in Amazon TV series Carnival Row.

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David Ayer claims Suicide Squad was ‘beaten into a comedy’ by movie bosses

David Ayer claims his cut of Suicide Squad was “beaten into a comedy” by bosses at Warner Bros.The 52-year-old helmed the DC Comics adaptation, starring Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Will Smith and Viola Davis, which was mauled by critics upon its release…

David Ayer claims his cut of Suicide Squad was “beaten into a comedy” by bosses at Warner Bros.

The 52-year-old helmed the DC Comics adaptation, starring Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Will Smith and Viola Davis, which was mauled by critics upon its release back in August 2016.

It was announced earlier this month that the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League would be released on streaming service HBO Max next year, and the news prompted Ayer to call for his version of Suicide Squad to be released by Warner Bros.

He explained to fans that he had created a “soulful drama” that was ripped apart by movie bosses who decided at the last minute that the film should be a comedy, following the success of Deadpool in February that year.

“This trailer nailed the tone and intention of the film I made. Methodical. Layered. Complex, beautiful and sad,” Ayer wrote, alongside a clip of the original trailer that was released at Comic-Con in 2016.

He went on to state that Warner Bros. officials were “shell shocked” by the poor performance of Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in March 2016, five months before Suicide Squad’s release, so decided that his movie needed to have a comedic injection.

“After the BVS reviews shell shocked the leadership at the time, and the success of Deadpool – My soulful drama was beaten into a ‘comedy’,” he added.

Ayer later revealed to his followers that he took inspiration from Christopher Nolan, who helmed the Batman trilogy, but scenes featuring the Joker, played by Leto, and his on-off girlfriend Harley Quinn, portrayed by Robbie, were reshot because they were deemed “too dark”.

“There were real scenes with incredible acting between Jared and Margot. Joker was terrifying. Harley was complex,” Ayer explained. “Jared was pretty mistreated during this. No one has seen his performance. It was ripped out of the movie.”

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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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Margot Robbie ‘almost died’ when Carey Mulligan signed up for new film

Margot Robbie was so excited when Carey Mulligan agreed to star in Promising Young Woman that she “almost died”.The Suicide Squad actress and her team at LuckyChap Entertainment produced Emerald Fennell’s black comedy, which stars Mulligan as Cas…

Margot Robbie was so excited when Carey Mulligan agreed to star in Promising Young Woman that she “almost died”.

The Suicide Squad actress and her team at LuckyChap Entertainment produced Emerald Fennell’s black comedy, which stars Mulligan as Cassie, a woman who goes to bars and pretends to be drunk in order to trap men who try to take advantage of her when she’s unable to give consent.

Robbie interviewed the British star for Vogue Australia magazine, and during the chat, revealed she was thrilled to land an actress she admired so much.

“I almost died the day you signed on. I remember saying: ‘I can’t believe we’ve got Carey Mulligan for this role,’” she recalled to Mulligan. “But every step of the process I’ve been even more impressed and I’m just in awe of you.”

The Australian actress recalled how she would watch the dailies, or the footage shot that day, with her team and be in awe of the Oscar nominee’s performance.

“I remember watching the dailies and saying to Josey (McNamara) and Tom (Ackerley): ‘Every take she does is brilliant. I don’t know what Emerald is going to use in the edit because every single take is powerful and committed,’” Robbie shared. “I was just glued to the screen and I think people are going to have that experience watching the film.

“And I think people are also going to get a real kick out of seeing the Carey Mulligan – this incredible actress of the stage and the silver screen – wearing this tiny Spandex dress with mascara running down her face. I get a real kick out of seeing you embody this completely transformative character.”

Promising Young Woman, which also stars Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, and Connie Britton, is currently without a release date.

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David Ayer calls for release of his Suicide Squad cut

David Ayer has called for his director’s cut of Suicide Squad to be released.The filmmaker has been vocal about his disappointment over the final cut of the movie, which was released by Warner Bros. in 2016 and starred Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared …

David Ayer has called for his director’s cut of Suicide Squad to be released.

The filmmaker has been vocal about his disappointment over the final cut of the movie, which was released by Warner Bros. in 2016 and starred Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis.

And after news broke last week that the “Snyder cut” of 2017 film Justice League – showing the original vision of director Zack Snyder – is to be released on streaming service HBO Max, Ayer has admitted he’d love the same opportunity with Suicide Squad.

In response to a question from a fan asking whether he’d consider showing his cut of the film on HBO Max, Ayer shared that making his version of the DC Comics movie would be “cathartic”.

“My cut would be easy to complete. It would be incredibly cathartic for me. It’s exhausting getting your a*s kicked for a film that got the Edward Scissorhands treatment,” he tweeted, suggesting his take on the movie was heavily edited in post-production. “The film I made has never been seen.”

However, he went on to state that while he and the fans may want to see the “Ayer cut” of Suicide Squad, it’s probably never going to see the light of day.

“It is simply not my call or my IP (intellectual property). I love WB (Warner Bros.) – it’s always been my ‘home studio’,” he continued. “I fully respect and support the incredible path the DCU (DC Universe) is taking under their stewardship. My cut of Suicide Squad may always be just a rumour. And that’s just fine.”

Snyder was forced to walk away from directing Justice League following a family tragedy and the movie was completed by Joss Whedon. Fans have been calling for Snyder’s cut of the film ever since the movie was slated by critics upon its 2017 release.

The Synder cut will be released on HBO Max in 2021.

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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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