Birds of Prey Director Admits She Made Compromises for Studio, Wishes She Had More Creative Control

David Ayer's Suicide Squad went through some behind-the-scenes changes during production, ultimately resulting in an underwhelming reception from fans, though the standout of the endeavor was largely Margot Robbie's performance of Harley Quinn in her live-action debut. When the spinoff Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) was announced, many fans thought Warner Bros. would learn from their mistakes of meddling with a filmmaker's vision, but director Cathy Yan recently detailed her experiences of the project, noting that she felt she had to make many compromises to fulfill the studio's wishes and how she hoped she could have maintained more creative control over the film.

"It was definitely challenging [to work] on Birds of Prey. Dead Pigs was such a singular, pure version of myself," Yan shared with The Playlist. "And I think when you're dealing with a budget like [Birds of Prey had] and the sort of pressures of a studio, especially a studio that is undergoing a lot of change, inevitably you end up having to compromise and fight for stuff. And you win some and you lose a lot. It's just kind of how it is."

Warner Bros. has a reputation for getting involved with their high-profile superhero projects, dating back years, most famously with Zack Snyder's Justice League film. In the years since that film debuted to a disappointing response, fans have been hoping for the "Snyder Cut" of the project, which is finally set to debut on HBO Max next month. The confirmation of the release of the Snyder Cut ignited talks about what other movies could be released that align more with a filmmaker's original plans, but Yan isn't entirely sure a "Cathy Yan Cut" of Birds of Prey exists.

"I would have loved to have more control over the edit [of Birds of Prey], But that's just kind of how it is. I don't know if there's a 'Cathy Yan Cut' out there, but I think for any filmmaker, all of us are in it because we want to express ourselves as wholly as possible," the director confessed. "And to match what you ultimately see on screen with what's in our head."

Despite her frustrations, Yan's film earned positive reviews and was received well by fans, with the filmmaker remaining open to tackling another major tentpole project, so long as the story spoke to her.

"I would not discount ever doing [a big-budget movie] again," Yan confirmed. "I try not to think of whether I would do this type of movie or that type of movie again. Or whether I'd work with this studio or that. But more like, 'Is this story compelling?' And I'm also a writer/director. So, in that case, my big lesson is that I want to continue to do that and have a little bit more control over the story I'm telling."

No plans have been announced for a Birds of Prey sequel, though Robbie will be seen as Harley Quinn in The Suicide Squad, which hits theaters and HBO Max on August 6th.

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