BIRDS OF PREY: 'Black Canary' Actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell Was Inspired By INJUSTICE 2

As Birds of Prey nears its release, actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell has revealed an unexpected inspiration for her iconic character, while Margot Robbie explains the struggle it took to getting the film made.

Although the upcoming film Birds of Prey has been decried by fans for its seeming departure from the source material, it might pay more homage to established lore than previously thought. In a recent interview, star Jurnee Smollett-Bell revealed that she became a fan of her character Black Canary through the 2017 fighting game Injustice 2. Sequel to 2013's Injustice: Gods Among Us, the game focused on Brainiac's invasion of a parallel Earth where Superman had overthrown the world governments and Batman leads the rebellion against him. Black Canary and her husband Green Arrow assisted Batman in his fight against Superman's regime.

Smollett-Bell explains the impact that the game had on her performance:

"For me, it's such an honor to be bringing Black Canary to film, you know? Black Canary, she’s such a legendary character, and I became a fan of her from Injustice 2. And it’s been amazing to work with these rockstar women, and feel the sisterhood that we have, and we all became so close too. It’s been a dream.

"I drew a lot of inspiration for the Canary Cry in Injustice. Even physically. For me, I really wanted to make it primal... It's not something she uses, it's something she's trying to hide. So to get to that point, she has to rev herself up. It's such a guttural point and a guttural place."

 



With the film set to release next month, it might be easy to take it for granted. However, pitching the film was anything but easy. Margot Robbie explained the difficult process it took to get the film made in an interview with Nerdist:

"It was a tall order. It was before anyone had done an R-rated comic book film. It was before Wonder Woman and I was saying, ‘I want a female-led action film’. I think they wanted to make sure that if they're going to take a risk like that, that it was going to be done correctly. So we spent a lot of time developing the script and making everyone feel confident in the material. Then once everyone was on board, some other things started coming out to help them feel like, ‘Oh yeah, this could work.’ After that it started to move really fast, but in the initial stages I think what I was pitching sounded crazy."


She goes on to reveal that the film was intially going to be based on Gotham City Sirens, but the crew felt that Catwoman and Poison Ivy were already iconic in their own right and having only three members in a team was limiting. They chose Birds of Prey to shine a spotlight on lesser known female superheroes.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) hits theatres on February 7, 2020.
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