The Birds of Prey movie just added a second, terrifying villain.
Deadline reports that Chris Messina has joined the film — which has the extravagant full title Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) — as Victor Zsasz, one of Gotham City's most frightening and deadly villains. Zsasz will be working alongside Gotham underworld boss Black Mask, played by Ewan McGregor.
Created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, Zsasz first appeared in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 back in 1992, and remains one of the most distinct villains on the darker side of Batman's rogue's gallery. Once a rich man, Zsasz lost his fortune after the death of his parents led him down a road of depression and gambling addictions. After a chance encounter led to him murdering a homeless man, he developed an obsession with liberating people from their pointless lives and became a serial killer. He is known for leaving his victims posed in lifelike positions after death, and for adding a tally mark to his body each time he kills, giving him a distinctive and terrifying scarred appearance.
Zsasz has appeared in live-action twice before, first in a cameo appearance in 2005's Batman Begins and then again in Fox's long-running Gotham. This will be his first appearance in the DC Extended Universe.
Messina has been working steadily for two decades, and is perhaps best known recently for his starring roles on The Mindy Project and HBO's Sharp Objects, one of the most acclaimed miniseries of 2018. He's an intriguing choice for Zsasz, but his work on Sharp Objects shows he's not afraid to go dark when it's called for. It'll be interesting to see what he does with the role.
Birds of Prey, directed by Cathy Yan from a script by Christina Hodson, will star Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, and Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters Feb. 7, 2020.