The superhero team-up movie, Birds of Prey, which will unite DC Comics characters Black Canary, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, Renee Montoya, and Harley Quinn, has found its villain. Ewan McGregor will join the cast as Black Mask, according to Deadline.
In the DC universe, Black Mask is the alter-ego of Roman Sionis, one of Gotham's most sadistic crime lords and an adversary to Batman. His moniker partly comes from the mask that he wears as the leader of the False Face Society gang. Unlike some of Batman's other foes, Black Mask is more of a "street" villain, having lost the fortune his parents built due to his poor business acumen. Black Mask blames others for his shortcomings, leading him to target Bruce Wayne.
McGregor joins a growing cast of stars, with Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary.
The role of Cassandra Cain has yet to be cast. However, Den of Geek reports that the half-Asian vigilante martial artist is likely to appear in her "Orphan" guise for this film, with the possibility existing that she will continue the comic's arc of becoming a vigilante version of Batgirl in the rumored Batgirl film.
As for Renee Montoya, she is apparently still a detective with the Gotham Police Department in this film. It is uncertain if she will develop into her superhero alter-ego, The Question, in this film.
The script was written by Christina Hodson, and the film will be directed by Cathy Yan.
"I could not put the script down, it had so much dark humor to it which a lot of my work does, and there are themes of female empowerment which are so strong and relatable," said Yan to Entertainment Weekly. "So I went in with, not with confidence, but at least a sense that I belonged in the room, and somehow magically in terms of timing and luck that this opportunity was open to me and I was definitely going to make the best of it." The film is set for a 2020 release.
McGregor is currently filming Doctor Sleep, playing the grown-up Danny Torrance in a sequel to Stephen King's The Shining. He last appeared on the big screen in Christopher Robin, and earlier this year won a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his portrayal of the rich and poor twin brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy in the television series, Fargo.