Cathy Yan Talks About The ‘Dark Humor’ of Her R-Rated BIRDS OF PREY Movie
When it comes to Cathy Yan’s upcoming DC flick, Birds of Prey, we’ve known for some time that the film would be a tad more hardcore than your average superhero fare. That much was made clear earlier this year when Margot Robbie said the very idea for the film came from her pitch for “an R-Rated girl gang movie.” But not much else has been said about the film’s tone or rating since director Yan came aboard.
In a new chat with Deadline, Yan opened up about the process of landing the Birds of Prey job, while also confirming the film’s R-rating, and what it was that drew her to the project to begin with.
As it turns out, one of the main elements of the script that appealed to Yan was its use of an element she’s played with in her previous work: Dark Humor.
Here are her remarks on the script for Birds of Prey and how it got her excited about making a pitch to direct it for DC Entertainment:
“I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it was relatively painless and straightforward. I immediately loved the script and it felt like something I could really do, and it felt very much like my own voice.”
“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. So I went in with, not with confidence, but at least a sense that I belonged in the room, that 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.”
In a way, it’s comforting to see Yan leaning into the dark humor a property like this could use a healthy dollop of. One could easily argue that Margot Robbie’s last outing as Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad, would’ve fared better had it had the freedom to skew older and edgier- with a script that emphasized the darkly comedic nature of its premise, which found all of these larger than life villains coming together.
As for her pitch, and how it went, here’s how Yan describes it:
“It came out of me. I have never done any of these things and I asked my agents for examples to get a better sense: I put together a pitch deck and also assembled a sizzle reel. But I would say it wasn’t like a lot of other sizzle reels which reference other films that remotely feel like your film. I find those to be rather pointless. But I created my own version that thematically and tonally conveyed what you would feel (in my movie).”
It sounds like all of the pieces fell into place rather seamlessly, doesn’t it?
Birds of Prey is set to start filming in a couple of months, with its sights set on a February 7, 2020 release.
CONTINUE READING: “VENOM Cinematographer Tapped For BIRDS OF PREY, Who Implies Title May Change?“
Editor-In-Chief and Co-Founder of Revenge of The Fans. Previously, he's written for Latino-Review, IGN, Moviehole, and The Splash Report. He's also the host of the top-rated show The Fanboy Podcast and the co-host of The Revengers Podcast. E-Mail: MFR@RevengeOfTheFans.com | Twitter: @I_AM_MFR