Birds of Prey Director Had to Fight to Keep the Movie's Most Disturbing Scene

Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan had to fight to keep the movie’s most disturbing scene in the theatrical cut. She told The Hollywood Reporter about it during a sit-down interview. Yan explained that the very tense and scary moment with Roman Sionis and a woman attending his club had some decision-makers concerned. But, the moment reveals the villain to be just that, irredeemable in the eyes of the audience. It lays bare just how despicable of a person Black Mask is and how he’s been warped by all that paranoia and power. He should be scary because he’s not a good man at all.

“I’ll be honest: We had to fight to keep that scene because it was uncomfortable. It was risky, and we had to fight to keep it at all,” Yan revealed. “There are cuts of the movie without it. I’m really glad that we kept it because I think it’s important. I think that a lot of people have been very impacted by that scene.”

She continued, “I think it’s a huge turning point for Roman; it’s a huge turning point for Canary, and the way that we shot it was hopefully not about the sexual violence upon the woman. It was more about Roman, what he’s capable of and Canary seeing him for who he really is for the first time. Now, she can fully cut herself off from him, and I thought it was a really important scene. So, we fought for it.”

Yan would also address the claims that Birds of Prey’s run was “disappointing” in the interview as well. The perception doesn’t really match up with the reality one-to-one and the filmmaker feels that is an important detail that a lot of takes about the movie fail to miss.

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"I know that the studio had really high expectations for the movie — as we all did. There were also undue expectations on a female-led movie, and what I was most disappointed in was this idea that perhaps it proved that we weren’t ready for this yet," Yan explained. "That was an extra burden that, as a woman-of-color director, I already had on me anyway. So, yes, I think there were certainly different ways you could interpret the success or lack of success of the movie, and everyone has a right to do that. But, I definitely do feel that everyone was pretty quick to jump on a certain angle."

What was your favorite moment of Birds of Prey? Let us know in the comments!

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