'Birds of Prey' Villain Confirmed as Black Mask

Birds of Prey is set to bring a whole new corner of the DC Comics universe to the big screen, and a unique villain will be playing a role in that.

According to a new report from The Wrap, Black Mask will be making his big-screen debut as the villain in Birds of Prey.

Also known as Roman Sionis, Black Mask is a drug kingpin in Gotham City, who was a reluctant childhood friend of Bruce Wayne. After killing his parents and inheriting their fortune, Sionis ends up ruining his family's cosmetics company, with Bruce offering to help bail him out. Sionis then visits his parents' grave, where he is struck by lightning, an event that he sees as his own personal "rebirth." Sionis then destroys his father's casket, using the pieces to make his Black Mask, and quickly becoming a crime boss.

While it's unclear exactly what version of Sionis' backstory will make it to the big screen, the hints around his possible arrival have certainly been there. For one thing, Black Mask was long rumored to be tied to David Ayer's Gotham City Sirens script, leaving some fans to wonder if the villain would carry over into this new Harley Quinn-centric project. And a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Justice League Easter egg actually referenced Sionis' Janus Cosmetics company, leaving fans to wonder if and when the villain could make his debut.

This will mark Black Mask's second live-action debut, after the character appeared in early seasons of Gotham (played, weirdly enough, by current Suicide Squad 2 co-writer Todd Stashwick).

Interestingly, Black Mask doesn't really have an established relationship with the Birds of Prey, only crossing paths with Batgirl and Huntress on small occasions. So either way, fans will just have to wait and see exactly how the villain will factor into the Birds of Prey movie.

Birds of Prey is set to feature Black Canary, Huntress, Cassandra Cain and Renee Montoya, all of whom will be joining Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) in a sort of team-up situation.

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Birds of Prey will be directed by Cathy Yan, and produced by Robbie alongside Kroll & Co Entertainment's Sue Kroll and Clubhouse Pictures' Bryan Unkeless. A version of the script was penned by Bumblebee's Christina Hodson. The film is reportedly set to begin filming in the beginning of 2019.

Are you excited to see Black Mask factor into Birds of Prey? Let us know what you think in the comments below.