Last week, it was announced that Chad Stahelski, the director of John Wick, will reshoot action scenes for the Birds of Prey film. That kind of news usually makes people nervous. I’m here to tell y’all, though, that it’s going to be okay.
Chad Stahelski Has Already Been Working on the Movie
When you hear news of a reshoot, it’s tempting to be suspicious. You might wonder, for example, if the studio has lost confidence in the director. You can look for evidence of that in the Solo movie, which had a director reshuffle after months of rumors that things weren’t going well. Or you could look at the Rogue One reshoots, which some say saved the movie.
But with Birds of Prey, there’s no evidence of that here. In addition to directing the John Wick trilogy, Stahelski is a (very) accomplished stuntman. That is, after all, one of the reasons why the John Wick movies work so well. As such, Stahelski’s stunt company, 87 Eleven, has already been at work on Birds of Prey. In fact, they’ve been there the whole time, since filming began.
That Still Doesn’t Make Me Feel Better, Though
Although most of us are probably unfamiliar with Cathy Yan’s work, we got some clues from the teaser released earlier this year. The neon-drenched clip tells us, for instance, that we’ll be getting a movie heavy on style. Although that style isn’t an exact match for the John Wick world, it’s close enough for Stahelski to blend.
And that’s exactly what he’ll be doing. Stahelski isn’t taking over as director; he’s simply stepping in as a second-unit director. That’s a position he’s held before, by the way, on obscure films like Captain America: Civil War and something called The Hunger Games. As Cathy Yan’s biggest work (so far) is a family dramedy, she likely doesn’t have much experience shooting action sequences. That’s where having someone like Chad Stahelski on your side is a strength. He obviously does have that experience and he can make Birds‘s action stun.
I know it’s easy to get worried, especially since Harley Quinn’s previous outing was in the much-maligned Suicide Squad. But don’t hold that against her. The Suicide Squad movie had a number of issues, including perhaps most prominently, too many cooks in the kitchen. Another issue was that the action sequences, like many in DCEU films, are incoherent and well, kinda boring. As that’s one of the last things you could say about Stahelski’s action sequences, that’s a good omen for Birds. Another good omen: there’s been a lot of change at Warner Bros since Squad, so the same people aren’t there anymore.
Of course, though, this is all obvious speculation. We’ve seen nothing yet, outside of the teaser trailer. So yeah, it could all be a catastrophe. But we don’t know that yet, so let’s hold off on the doomsday talk. This is good news–a sign that they’re working hard to prevent past mistakes. And I’m even more excited to see it.
Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf.