The ensemble of DC's Birds of Prey is only just beginning to come together, but it sounds like we have some early details about the film's villain.
A new tweet from Variety's Justin Kroll, which you can check out below, hints at who Warner Bros. could be looking for to play the film's antagonist, Roman Sionis/Black Mask. While the studio has only just started meeting with actors for the part, Ewan McGregor and Sharlto Copley are "actors they like for the role".
Still have Renee Montoya and Cassandra Cain's roles to cast as well as the crime lord up against the team. Hearing names like Sharlto and Ewan McGreggor are actors they like for the role but have only started meeting actors for that part //t.co/OaVfpTfkyM— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) September 26, 2018
Another tweet from The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez reveals that the studio is using Sam Rockwell as a basis for casting Black Mask, although Rockwell himself is unavailable for the role.
Although unavailable, Sam Rockwell is the archetype for BLACK MASK and they're looking for someone with his lovable rogue qualities.— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) September 26, 2018
McGregor has a pretty prominent following in the geek space, thanks to his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels. His filmography also includes Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge!, and the forthcoming Doctor Sleep. Copley's work includes District 9, Chappie, Hardcore Henry, and Powers.
While it is unclear if McGregor or Copley will end up playing Black Mask, these new details do provide quite a lot of context of where Birds of Prey is going with its villain. Particularly, the "lovable rogue qualities" makes sense, and just might provide a clue of how DC wants to approach Black Mask's live-action debut.
In the comics, 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.
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. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it Justice League Easter egg actually referenced Sionis' Janus Cosmetics company, which seemed to be setting the stage in some sort of way for Black Mask to actually appear.
Birds of Prey will pit Black Mask against Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Cassandra Cain, and Renee Montoya. With Smollett-Bell and Winstead's casting just being announced today, fans will ultimately have to wait and see how the rest of the ensemble comes together.
Birds of Prey will land in theaters on February 7, 2020. Upcoming DC Extended Universe films also include Aquaman on December 21st, Shazam on April 5, 2019, and Wonder Woman 1984 on November 1, 2019.