Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinnis a movie bursting with personality. It’s poppy and gritty, slapstick-y and visceral, and most striking of all, it doesn’t confine itself to as many boxes or rules as most comic book movies do. It’s a rare comic book movie with an actual sense of freedom and spontaneity. Behind the boisterous vision is filmmaker Cathy Yan.

Before Yan was writing and directing films, she was already sharpening her skills as a storyteller. A graduate from Princetown University and the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Yan was a journalist for the Wall Street Journal, based in Beijing, Hong Kong, and New York. She was one of the youngest writers in Wall Street Journal history. After her time as a journalist, she went on to direct more shorts and her feature directorial debut, Dead Pigs, which impressed Birds of Prey‘s star and producer, Margot Robbie.

Recently, we spoke to Yan about the set pieces in the movie, paying homage to Jackie Chan and Orson Welles, and more.

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DC has been a good home to screenwriter Christina Hodson. After writing Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), DC and Warner Bros. hired Hodson to adapt two other comic book properties, including Batgirl. Based on the glowing reception to Birds of Prey, the studio now has another strong voice behind their comic book movies. They haven’t always this much sense of authorship and crystal clear vision.

Birds of Prey is a comic book movie that doesn’t overstay its welcome and has more personality than explosions, although the grounded action is a visceral delight. It’s a tight, character-driven comic book movie that Hodson – a former executive at Focus Features – recently told us about writing. Plus, she discussed her favorite Harley Quinn stories, the Trainspotting influences, and her days as an executive.

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bumblebee

The Transformers spin-off Bumblebee is very different from the five Michael Bay films. Notably, there are fewer Transformers – it’s mainly Bumblebee and the two Decepticons who chase him to Earth in 1987. The heroic Optimus Prime only has a cameo.

Bumblebee also spends most of its time in the small Northern California town of Brighton Falls, where Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) buys a fixer upper automobile, only to discover it’s actually a transforming robot. Charlie has lost her father and has trouble relating to her mother, so Bumblebee becomes her confidant.

Screenwriter Christina Hodson wrote the Bumblebee movie and she spoke with /Film about this new take on the Transformers franchise. She also wrote the scripts for Birds of Prey and Batgirl, which we also asked her about in our interview.

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birds of prey title

Birds of Prey‘s full title just rolls off the tongue. In full, it’s called Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn), and has been confirmed to be the official title and not some joke that star Margot Robbie scribbled on the script. Now writer Christina Hodson is here to explain why they settled on that title, and how it’s actually important to the movie.

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bumblebee review

The opening scene of Bumblebee plays out like a child’s fantasy: Brightly colored Autobots clash with the sinister Decepticons in a battle that feels like the cinematic realization of a little kid smashing his toys together. And it’s awesome.

It’s something that’s been missing from the progressively darker and grittier iterations of the Transformers movies, whose brand of “Bayhem” have prevented the films from being anything close to fun. Michael Bay loaded every frame of his Transformers movies with so much visual chaos that the senses become overwhelmed and, ultimately, dulled. But Bumblebee director Travis Knight peels back the layers of epic, hectic spectacle to find the warm, beating heart that the Transformers franchise has always been missing.

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Birds of Prey scripts

Ever since Suicide Squad made $745 million in theaters, Warner Bros. has been searching for a way to get Margot Robbie back in her Harley Quinn costume for another movie. They’ve seemingly found it: word came out earlier this week that up-and-coming filmmaker Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) would direct Robbie in a film that sounded like a mix of Birds of Prey and Gotham City Sirens.

A new follow-up report says WB has two different Birds of Prey scripts in the works right now, and in addition to Harley Quinn, there’s only one other character who appears in both scripts. Read More »

Harley Quinn movie director

Warner Bros. and DC’s Harley Quinn movie now has a director – Cathy Yan. The film in the works sounds like a combination of Birds of Prey, about a team of female superheroes, and Gotham City Sirens, about a team of female super villains.

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Batgirl Movie Writer

After stalling out following Joss Whedon‘s departure from the project, the Batgirl movie is back on track with a new writer. Christina Hodson, who wrote the upcoming Transformers spinoff Bumblebee, will pen the film for Warner Bros. More on the new Batgirl movie writer below.

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Bumblebee movie cast

Paramount’s Transformers spin-off Bumblebee movie is gearing up to put the pedal to the metal/burn some rubber/leave its competition in the dust…okay, okay, I’ll stop. But following the recent casting of Hailee Steinfeld as the female lead and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as the male lead, the film has rounded out its cast with a cavalcade of fresh-faced young actors. Take a look at the latest members of the Bumblebee movie cast below.
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Bumblebee Transformers

We’ve already explored how director Michael Bay can’t seem to quit the Transformers franchise, and we know Paramount certainly doesn’t have any plans to give up on one of its most consistent moneymakers. Bay himself says there are 14 more movies in development, and the filmmaker recently confirmed that the upcoming Bumblebee spinoff will be a prequel. But where and when will it take place? Join us as we explore the possibilities of a Bumblebee prequel.
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