Cathy Yan Is the First Asian-American Woman to Direct a Superhero Film

By Sameer Rao Apr 18, 2018

Variety reported yesterday (April 17) that rising filmmaker Cathy Yan ("Dead Pigs") will direct an upcoming movie focused on DC Comics supervillain and Suicide Squad member Harley Quinn. The new film makes Yan the first Asian-American woman to helm a major superheroic film.

According to Variety, the Chinese-American director and former journalist will adapt a script by British screenwriter Christina Hodson ("Unforgettable"), who is also reportedly of partial Asian descent. Hodson’s script draws from the "Birds of Prey" comics, which focus on a group of female superheroes.

The still-untitled movie will be Yan’s second feature film. Her first, "Dead Pigs," debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this year.

Yan is one of several women of color, including Ava DuVernay ("A Wrinkle in Time"), working on high-profile narrative films with science fiction and fantasy themes. DuVernay tweeted yesterday that Victoria Mahoney ("Yelling to the Sky," "Queen Sugar") will be the second unit director on the upcoming "Star Wars" film—it’s the first time a Black woman has held a high-level directorial role in franchise history.