Birds of Prey‘s bat-swinging girl is still planning to step up to the plate for HBO Max.
In the wake of Warner Bros. Discovery abruptly pulling the plug on the nearly complete, Leslie Grace-starring Batgirl movie, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. Pictures confirms for TVLine that the Black Canary standalone movie that was first announced a year ago remains in development at the streamer.
Spinning off Jurnee Smollett’s Dinah Lance character from the 2019 feature Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (fka Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), news of the project leaked late last August and was promptly confirmed by both Smollett and frequent collaborator Misha Green, who is penning the script.
“Guess the Canary is out of the cage! 🤪” tweeted Smollett at the time. “So excited to finally embark on this adventure with my creative soul sis
Green likewise tweeted, “We’re just at the very beginning of a loooong journey to the screen, but obvs I couldn’t turn down the chance to put the DAMN in The Black Damn Canary with @jurneesmollett!”
Green and Smollett first collaborated on the 2016 historical drama series Underground (for WGN America), followed by HBO’s undeservedly one-and-done supernatural thriller Lovecraft Country, which was developed for TV by Green and co-starred Smollett as Letitia “Leti” Lewis — who, like Dinah/Black Canary, also proved handy with a baseball bat.
Batgirl was unexpectedly and completely shelved earlier this month, with WarnerBros. Discovery electing to take a tax write-off on the $70-$90 million movie versus pursue a theatrical or streaming release. “We’re not going to launch your movie until it’s ready,” Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav explained following an Aug. 4 earnings call. “We’re not going to launch a movie to make a quota. And we’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it. Particularly with DC, where we think we want to pivot and we want to elevate and we want to focus.”
“The objective is to grow the DC brand, to grow the DC characters,” Zaslav continued. “But also, our job is to protect the DC brand, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
No further details on Black Canary, including its current timetable, are available at this time.