Black Canary's Jurnee Smollett Reveals Wild Advice Samuel L. Jackson Gave Her for DC Role

A number of number of long-awaited DC movies and television shows are making progress, giving some iconic and beloved characters within the publisher's arsenal an opportunity to get the spotlight. Among these is Black Canary, an HBO Max-exclusive solo film that would follow Dinah Lance / Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett), who previously made her blockbuster debut in 2020's Birds of Prey. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Smollett spoke about how playing Black Canary has been "one of the great joys" of her career — and also revealed a piece of advice that Samuel L. Jackson, who is a veteran in the superhero space from playing Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, gave her when she was initially cast.

"It's an honor," Smollett explained. "They're tough. I have to say, when I first was cast in Birds of Prey, I just remember I called a bunch of my mentors who had more experience in the comic book world. Like Samuel L. Jackson, I remember calling him and being like, 'OK, so like, yo, what do I do? Is there a way in which I should approach this any differently than how I would approach any other character? I always do so much research of the world.' And he said, 'Baby, just go and piss on your territory.' (Laughs.) So I've been just so truly, truly humbled by the response from the fans."

The Black Canary movie is being written by Misha Green, Smollett's previous collaborator on Lovecraft Country and Underground. While Smollett is unable to tease the specifics of the film, she did thank the fans for being so vocal about wanting to see her portray the role again.

"I can't talk about it, as you know," Smollett explained in a laugh. "But I can say I really am excited about what we're developing."

"Truly, one of the great joys of my professional career has been playing Black Canary and to see the response from the fans online and engaging on Twitter," Smollett revealed. "They are a massive reason why I am where I am, and any excitement I have about continuing on the Black Canary trajectory, it's being made possible because of the fans."

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Black Canary does not currently have a release date.