Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Tinseltown /

Mary Elizabeth Winstead has played a supervillain before, as Gwen Grayson/Royal Pain in the Disney movie ‘Sky High’.  But she might be taking on her most physical role yet, The Huntress in ‘Birds of Prey’.  In an interview with The Wrap, Winstead revealed:

“I’m going to start training, and I’ll be learning how to shoot a bow and arrow, too — which is new for me.”

She may have misspoken, as The Huntress is traditionally known for carrying a crossbow, not a bow and arrow, unless the film will alter her depiction.

Winstead’s Huntress is the Helena Bertinelli version, the orphaned daughter of a mafioso, who witnesses her parents’ deaths as part of a mob hit.  She then dedicates herself to taking down organized crime.  As Winstead stated:

“I can’t say that I was a huge comic book reader.  But when I met with Cathy Yan, who’s directing the film, and learned kind of the back story of the character, I was really interested.  It’s a really strong, kind of emotional place to start from for a superhero character. I won’t go into too much detail now, but I think it’s interesting and an opportunity to do something cool with this kind of character.”

The Birds of Prey in the comics were notable for being one of the first all-female super teams.  That will heavily influence the feel of the movie, according to Winstead:

“It’s really exciting, and even the process of going through getting the role and everything was a very different experience than I’ve typically been through.  Being with the other actresses and a female director and just the whole energy behind this is so unique, so I’m really happy about that.”

Cathy Yan is directing the latest DC Comics adaptation, with a script by Christina Hodson.  Margot Robbie will star, reprising her role as Harley Quinn and will also serve as executive producer.  Jurnee Smollett-Bell has also been cast as Black Canary.  The script also includes police detective Renee Montoya and Cassandra Cain, who at one time operated as Batgirl.  The villain of the picture is reported to be Black Mask.  While the film takes place in Gotham City, Batman won’t be in it.

Winstead will next be seen opposite Will Smith in ‘Gemini Man’, due out next October.

‘Birds of Prey’ is due in theaters on February 7, 2020.