Birds of Prey Director Admits She Wanted More Control of Harley Quinn Movie

By Pierre Chanliau Posted:
Harley Quinn, Black Mask in Birds of Prey

Warner Bros. seems to have a habit of taking away control from their directors when it comes to their DC movies, such as David Ayers' Suicide Squad and, most infamously, Zack Snyder's Justice League . In the past, Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan had alluded to this being a struggle for her too when she sympathized with David Ayer regarding him and Suicide Squad during post-production:

Yan has finally come out to further elaborate on the many challenges that she faced making Birds of Prey for Warner Bros. and how the studio ultimately had control in post-production. However, Yan seems to have accepted this as a filmmaker at this point, and that the changes in Birds of Prey weren't nearly as significant as Ayer's Suicide Squad .


Speaking on The Playlist Podcast , director Cathy Yan discussed the challenges she encountered working on Birds of Prey , especially with "having to compromise" on aspect's of the film during post-production and the final edit:

“It was definitely challenging... “‘Dead Pigs’ was such a singular, pure version of myself. 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.”

Yan went on to flatly admit that she "would have loved to have more control over the edit" that ended up making it to screens:

“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. And to match what you ultimately see on screen with what’s in our head.”


While it sounds like the edits made to Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey weren't nearly as dire as the ones inflicted on David Ayer's Suicide Squad , it's still troubling that Warner Bros. is still wrenching control away from its directors. Although, it seems like Patty Jenkins, for better or worse, had the final say on the edit of Wonder Woman 1984 .

It seems like with Warner Bros., either the director has most of the control or barely any when there should be a more mutual compromise between parties.

This aspect is particularly important when it comes to the final edit of a movie, where, for example, Warner Bros. attempts to change it into something it isn't, which was the case for David Ayer's Suicide Squad .

- In This Article: Harley Quinn (Season 4)
Release Date
July 27, 2023
Alan Tudyk
Kaley Cuoco
- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.