Television & Film


Two long-gestating projects are moving forward with casting announcements this week. Birds of Prey has their final lead, and the Star Wars mid-quel series adds to its roster.

Ella Jay Basco (Grey’s AnatomyVeep) has is negotiating to join the DC flick as Cassandra Cain, Variety reports. She joins Margot Robbie, returning at Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary. They’ll face off against Ewan McGregor as the villain Black Mask.

According to the report, Cain will run afoul of Black Mask when she comes into possession of a diamond belonging to the crime kingpin. The Birds of Prey will work to protect the girl. No word yet on whether Basco’s character will also don the cape and cowl of Batgirl (Cassandra Cain was the third to carry the name), but give how young Basco is currently, it’s likely to be an origin story for her.

In the comics, Cassandra Cain is the daughter of assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva (who helped Bruce Wayne recover skills after Bane broke his back). Trained from an early age to be the world’s greatest assassin, Cassandra is conditioned not to speak and goes without any contact with the world.

Robbie is producing along with Sue Kroll and Bryan Unkeless. Cathy Yan is directing.

Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, Gina Carano has jumped on board The Mandalorian for Lucasfilm and Disney. Variety has confirmed the casting, but there are no details on the role she’ll play opposite Pedro Pascal, who was announced in a lead role earlier this week.

Carano got her start as an mixed martial arts fighter, making appearances on American Gladiators before nabbing film roles in HaywireFast & Furious 6, and Deadpool. At one point, Carano was a fan favorite to play Wonder Woman before Gal Gadot landed the part.

The Mandalorian is set between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, following a lone gunfighter on the edge of the galaxy (perhaps the Outer Rim? The Corporate Authority Sector?) before the rise of the First Order. Jon Favreau is producing the series, which will air on Disney+, the studio’s newly christened digital streaming service.

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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