WEEK IN WOMEN news roundup: Cathy Yan in talks to direct Harley Quinn movie, Lynda Carter might appear in ‘Wonder Woman 2,’ and Sundance Film Festival: London to showcase female filmmakers

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Margot Robbie appears as Harley Quinn in the 2016 film "Suicide Squard." Warner Bros. Pictures photo

Margot Robbie appears as Harley Quinn in the 2016 film “Suicide Squard.” Warner Bros. Pictures photo

Filmmaker Cathy Yan, a breakout writer-director from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is in talks to join the DC Universe and helm an untitled DC film featuring Margot Robbie’s “Suicide Squad” anti-hero Harley Quinn.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Warner Bros. film is expected to be based on DC’s “Birds of Prey” property, which centers on a female-led team that debuted in the comics in 1995 and has included characters over the years such as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Catwoman and Katana (who was played by Karen Fukuhara in the 2016 movie “Suicide Squad”). The project has a script by Christina Hodson, whom as previously reported, Warner Bros. hired last week to write “Batgirl” after Joss Whedon exited the project.

Warner Bros. isn’t confirming that the film will be based on “Birds of Prey,” but is developing it under the moniker of “untitled Harley Quinn girl gang movie.” Sources are describing the project as an all-female variation on “Suicide Squad,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Robbie is producing through her LuckyChap Entertainment, along with Sue Kroll via her Kroll & Co. Entertainment and Bryan Unkeless of Clubhouse Pictures.

Robbie’s Harley Quinn was widely considered a highlight of 2016′s “Suicide Squad,” which brought the already-popular character to even greater levels of infamy and inspired Warner Bros. to develop several projects centering on the anti-hero, including the planned “Suicide Squad” sequel, to be written and directed by “The Accountant’s” Gavin O’Connor, and a movie focusing on Joker and Harley Quinn, to be written and directed by “Crazy, Stupid, Love’s” Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

Yan is an up-and-coming filmmaker whose feature directorial debut “Dead Pigs” – about “A bumbling pig farmer, a feisty salon owner, a sensitive busboy, an expat architect and a disenchanted rich girl converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs float down the river towards a rapidly-modernizing Shanghai” – earned strong reviews and won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Acting at Sundance.

In addition to also helming several shorts, Yan has worked as a Wall Street Journal reporter based out of New York, Hong Kong and Beijing. Yan, who was born in China and was raised in Hong Kong and Washington, would become the first Asian woman to direct a big-budget superhero movie.

Yan also would be the third female female Warner Bros. has hired to helm one of its comic-book properties: After the record-breaking success of last year’s “Wonder Woman,” the studio has Patty Jenkins returning for “Wonder Woman 2,” while Ava DuVernay is set to helm the comic book epic “New Gods.”

Lynda Carter appears in the 1970s "Wonder Woman" TV series. ABC photo

Lynda Carter appears in the 1970s “Wonder Woman” TV series. ABC photo

Lynda Carter in talks to appear in ‘Wonder Woman 2’

Lynda Carter, who portrayed the iconic character of “Wonder Woman” in the 1970s TV series, is in talks to join the film’s sequel.

During an interview Wednesday on NBC’s Today with Megyn Kelly, Carter confirmed that she has been talking to director Patty Jenkins about appearing in the “Wonder Woman” sequel. An individual with knowledge of the project corroborated her on-air statement to TheWrap.

“That is up to Patty Jenkins. I’ve been talking to her about it,” said Carter. “She’s given me some hints about it and I guess it’s up to Warner Bros if they want to spend the money … It really is up to Patty, and if it works in an organic way it’ll be great fun and it’ll be wonderful to do.”

TheWrap has confirmed that, like the record-breaking blockbuster “Wonder Woman,” “Wonder Woman 2” will be a period piece. Only instead of taking place in during World War I like last year’s critically acclaimed origin story, the sequel will feature Princess Diana (Gal Gadot) facing off against the Soviet Union during the 1980s.

As previously reported, Jenkins has already confirmed that Kristen Wiig will be playing the sequel’s baddie, Cheetah, a were-cheetah who typically looks like an ordinary woman but has the ability to morph into a human-cheetah hybrid, with increased speed, strength and agility, in “Wonder Woman 2.”

The film is slated for release on Dec. 13, 2019.

Thomasin McKenzie, left, and Ben Foster appear in Debra Granik's "Leave No Trace." Sundance photo

Thomasin McKenzie, left, and Ben Foster appear in Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace.” Sundance photo

Sundance Film Festival: London to showcase female filmmakers

Seven of the dozen films screening at Sundance Film Festival: London 2018 are directed by women, according to Variety.

The U.K. edition of the indie festival will put female filmmakers center stage, with the selections including the U.K. premieres of Desiree Akhavan’s “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and Crystal Moselle’s “Skate Kitchen,” along with the international premiere of Augustine Frizzel’s “Never Goin’ Back.”

Other international premieres include Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade” and Amy Adrion’s “Half the Picture.” Jim Hosking’s “An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn,” Lauren Greenfield’s “Generation Wealth,” Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace,” and Jennifer Fox’s “The Tale,” will all have their U.K. premieres, as will Idris Elba’s “Yardie.”

Ari Aster’s “Hereditary” will also have its international premiere and its star, Toni Collette, will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A. Other events include a masterclass with Akhavan, Fox, and Granik.

Organizers said the lineup “champions female voices and highlights some of the broad and excellent women-led work direct from Sundance Utah.”

There will also be a seven-strong short film selection from Sundance Utah, and a showcase of shorts hailing from the U.K. The London festival is set for May 31 to June 3. The films will be screened in London at Picturehouse Central.

The program we’re bringing to London this year is full of artfully told stories that provoke thought, drive empathy and allow the audience to connect, in deeply personal ways, to the universal human experience,” said Robert Redford, president and founder of Sundance Institute.

-BAM

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