Cathy Yan will direct the forthcoming Harley Quinn spinoff for the DC Universe, according to Variety. This marks a huge step forward for the young director and for DC. The film will be based on the Birds of Prey comic and Margot Robbie is confirmed to reprise her role as Harley Quinn. Yan will be the second female director of a DC Universe film, following last year’s Patty Jenkins of Wonder Woman. She also becomes the first Asian female director to helm a superhero film for DC, who also recently recruited Ava DuVernay to adapt Jack Kirby’s New Gods.
Yan attended Princeton University undergraduate and earned a degree in international and public affairs before receiving her MBA in business from NYU’s Stern School of Business and an MFA from the Tisch Graduate Film Program at NYU. Yan is best known for directing short films that have all run through the festival circuit. However, this year at Sundance, her feature film debut Dead Pigs, sarring Atlanta breakout Zazie Beetz, won a special Jury Award for Best Ensemble.
Robbie is coming off her first Oscar nomination for Best Actress for playing disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. Her production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, is producing the Harley Quinn film along with Sue Kroll and her Kroll & Co Entertainment, and Bryan Unkeless of Clubhouse Pictures.
Christina Hodson, who was recently tapped to write the Batgirl film, wrote the film. She previously wrote Unforgettable, starring Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson, and the critically derided horror film Shut In starring Naomi Watts.
Production on the currently untitled Harley Quinn film is expected to start at the end of the year, sometime after Robbie finishes shooting Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood in which she will play Sharon Tate. Robbie can be seen this May in the strange-looking thriller Terminal, and the highly anticipated Mary, Queen of Scots opposite Saoirse Ronan, due later this year.