Cathy Yan Sets the Record Straight on Birds of Prey Reshoots

Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan is setting the record straight about the film's reshoots. This weekend, the filmmaker took to Twitter to address persistent rumors that an early version of the film featured a discussion of the size of villain Roman Sionis/Black Mask's (Ewan McGregor) anatomy and while Yan did confirm that the film's original script did call for a specific image of Sionis interpreted as Michelangelo's famous statue David, it's something that she says didn't work -- and clarified that there were no reshoots dedicated to the issue.

"It was a joke to show how narcissist he is," Yan wrote when asked about the details of the scene. "It didn't work -- we all agreed -- so we rewrote some ADR. That's it. Absolutely no reshoots were devoted to this nonsense issue."

The discussion came as a result of one of Yan's earlier tweets in which the filmmaker showed her support for Suicide Squad filmmaker David Ayer, who had himself posted about the reshoots on that film and how they completely altered the tone of the film. Soon after, rumors began to resurface that Yan's Birds of Prey had, in an early iteration, featured "dick pics" of Sionis that the villain was allegedly fixated on getting back due to perception of size. While Yan did confirm that there was the Sionis-as-David image, she was clear that not only would that image have constituted a "dick pic" but there was never anything in the story about perceived size.

"This is not true," Yan wrote. "There has never been any discussion around the size of Roman's dick. I can't believe I even have to write that! The original script called for an image of Roman as Michelangelo's David. You know? Art? If that's a dick pic, then the Louvre is full of them."

As for what was originally part of the film -- or at least the pitch -- Yan has previously explained that her atypical "sizzle reel" that she made to pitch her vision for Birds of Prey included a montage set to a homemade remix of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" that illustrated "the worst of modern womanhood".

"Like, scenes from Bachelor proposals, the De Beers diamond commercial, Kim Kardashian's vampire facial, Fox anchors talking about women, Trump saying 'Grab 'em by the p*ssy'," Yan explained. "After I showed the video, there was just silence."

However, that initial take is what prompted Margot Robbie, who served as a producer on the film, to want to bring her on board.


"We explored so many different directors," Robbie said during a visit to the film's set. "I said I really want it to be a female director if that's how it kind of comes together. But of course, I don't ever think you should force that, either. At the end of the day, it's whoever's the best person for the job. And we met with directors, both male and female, and Cathy gave the best pitch. She came in, she understood the piece, she elevated the ideas that we'd been working on and kind of took them to a place. And that's kind of what you need your director to do, to take what you have and then elevate it to another level. And she did that. And I remember writing copious notes every time we spoke to someone, and Cathy came in and my page was like just a big smiley face. I was just like, 'It's perfect. She's perfect for it.' Yeah, so it was really exciting, that initial conversation."