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Birds of Prey finds its Cassandra Cain in Ella Jay Basco

It was said that Warner Bros. would be looking at young actresses for the role of Cassandra Cain in their upcoming Harley Quinn spin-off film, BIRDS OF PREY, and they weren't kidding. Variety has reported that newcomer Ella Jay Basco is in negotiations to play Cain in BIRDS OF PREY. The young actress has previously appeared in episodes of Grey's Anatomy and Veep, but this will be her first major role.

The upcoming film also stars Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Rosie Perez as Renne Montoya, and Ewan McGregor as Black Mask. In the DC Comics, Cassandra Cain is "the daughter of assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva, and is deprived of speech and human contact during her childhood as conditioning to become the world’s greatest assassin. She eventually befriends Bruce Wayne and goes on to become Batgirl." As Warner Bros. is also developing a BATGIRL film, it's not known whether or not this particular element of Cain's history will be carried over in BIRDS OF PREY. Margot Robbie, who initially pitched Warner Bros. on the project, has said that she envisioned it as "R-rated girl gang film including Harley, because I was like, ‘Harley needs friends.’ Harley loves interacting with people, so don’t ever make her do a standalone film. She’s got to be with other people, it should be a girl gang. I wasn’t seeing enough girl gangs on screen, especially in the action space. So that was always a big part of it." The film will find Harley Quinn, Huntress, and Black Canary teaming up to protect Cassandra Cain when she comes across a diamond belonging to Black Mask, a kingpin in Gotham City's criminal underworld.

Cathy Yan (DEAD PIGS) will helm BIRDS OF PREY from a script by Christina Hodson (BUMBLEBEE), and Margot Robbie is thrilled that Yan will be directing the film. "Giving a female director the chance to do big budget stuff," Robbie said. "They always get ‘Here’s the tiny little film’… I was like, ‘I love action. I love action films. I’m a girl. What, are we meant to only like a specific thing’?” So it was a hugely important to find a female director for this, if possible. But at the end of the day — male, female — the best director gets the job and Cathy was the best director." BIRDS OF PREY is set for a February 7, 2020 release.

Source: Variety

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