The female superhero team-up flick Birds of Prey has apparently found its villain, and he's one of Batman's most dangerous rogues.
Black Mask, the ruthless Gotham City underworld leader known for his suits, his twin pistols, and his trademark ebony mask, is set to be the Big Bad of the upcoming DC Extended Universe film, The Wrap reports. The film will star Margot Robbie in her return as Harley Quinn, alongside DC Comics heroes Black Canary, Renee Montoya, Huntress, and a young Cassandra Cain.
Created in 1985 by writer Doug Moench and artist Tom Mandrake, Black Mask began life as Roman Sionis, the heir to a cosmetics fortune who grew up hating his parents and the hypocrisy they exhibited through the "masks" they wore in polite society. When his parents disapproved of his relationship with the model Circe, Roman became enraged and burned down their house, killing them, and taking over the family business.
His lack of business skill ran the cosmetics company into the ground, and resulting corporate struggles with Wayne Enterprises bred in him a hatred of both that company and its owner, Bruce Wayne. In a rage, he visited his parents' crypt one night and was struck by a lightning bolt, which he considered a sign of rebirth. He smashed his father's ebony coffin, carved a mask from the shards, and rechristened himself Black Mask. Since then, he's been a powerful figure in the Gotham City crime world, and remains one of the Dark Knight's most brutal foes.
Black Mask has also previously appeared in other popular DC Comics media including the animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood, the animated series The Batman, and the Arkham series of video games. Now, he'll get to make his big screen debut terrorizing the Birds of Prey.
Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) is set to direct the film from a script by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee). Robbie is also producing the film, which The Wrap reports will focus on a "revolving group of female heroes and villains." There's no word yet on who could play Black Mask in the film, but now that his name is out there, it's time to start fan casting.
Birds of Prey does not yet have a release date.