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SYFY WIRE Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

WIRE Buzz: Birds of Prey cast crashes screening; Rami Malek talks Bond villain; MK-Ultra podcast

By Jacob Oller
Birds of Prey Times Square screening 1

The cast of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) has been on a press tour almost as long as the superhero film’s title, but one of their last stops before the DC film arrives to the general public was at a special screening just for fans. DC Universe invited subscribers around the country to a free sneak preview screening at tons of theaters — but only one got crashed by actors Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Ella Jay Basco, and Ewan McGregor.

Those attending the New York Times Square screening of Birds of Prey got a special surprise when the supergroup crashed the proceedings. And, of course, fans being fans, those in the crowd were thrilled — whether or not they were decked out in full Harley cosplay.

Take a look:

Birds of Prey Times Square screening 1

Birds of Prey Times Square screening 2

Those are some happy members of the clown/academic community! Those who didn’t get their own photo op tweeted about the occasion, and were just as pleased:

Birds of Prey is in theaters today, Feb. 7.

Next, another villain has made himself a bit more accessible to the public. Rami Malek, who plays the antagonistic Safin in Daniel Craig’s last hurrah as James Bond, recently divulged a bit more about his role in No Time to Die.

Speaking to Total Film, the recent Oscar winner explained that both Safin’s facial scars and white Noh mask are both key to the 007 character. “We didn’t pick a mask off the wall willy-nilly,” Malek said. “We had to think extremely specifically as to what would make the most sense. If it doesn’t make sense to the story and to the character, then arguably it loses its impact. There is something about what we ended up using that inevitably was more provocative and powerful because of its meaning.”

These masks, used in traditional Japanese dramatic dance, are just one factor director Cary Joji Fukunaga wanted to contribute to the film’s culture and aesthetic. The mask and scars aren’t pure creepiness: They’re about backstory. “We came up with a mythology about where he’s based, and how there can be a mix of cultural influences there,” the director said. “That all draws on the family and a lot of other things.” This makes the fan theory that the character will be a surprise reveal of Dr. No (Dr. Noh?) an interesting remix on an old favorite.

Fans will be able to find out for sure when No Time to Die opens on April 2.

Finally, the world of narrative audio is getting into the shadowy government experiment business. Project MK-Ultra, the CIA mind manipulation program attempting to use psychoactive drugs and other methods to control subjects, is getting its own series from the company behind American Gods.

Deadline reports that Fremantle’s fiction podcast label Storyglass has set the six-part series Ultra about an undercover agent who finds himself in the midst of the trials. Set in 1959, the based-on-reality tale will tackle LSD as a starting point — things only get weirder and more freaky from there.

American Ultra recently brushed the program on the big screen, but the move to audio opens up some interesting formal possibilities. Found audio will be used, almost like the mystery hit Homecoming (which got a TV adaptation of its own), to construct the top-secret thriller.

Ultra is currently being cast.