Rosie Perez is one of those absurdly talented actresses Hollywood has never quite known what to do with. So it only makes sense to give her a plum role in Birds of Prey, the all-female DCEU entry led by Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, as The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Perez is the fourth actress confirmed in the Suicide Squad spin-off, after Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jurnee Smolett-Bell, who will play Huntress and Black Canary, respectively. Perez has nabbed Renee Montoya, a Gotham City detective who eventually becomes The Question — the Randian rogue crime fighter created by comics legend and noted Objectivist Steve Ditko in the ’60s. The character’s sometimes questionable moral intransigence, at least in some of its incarnations, was an inspiration for Rorschach in Alan Moore’s Watchmen.
Montoya is also notable for being a progressive queer character — a lesbian who quit the force after she was outed, hoping to tackle corruption. She was an LGBTQ character introduced at a time when there were very few, of which not many were treated with respect.
Birds of Prey is slated for a February 7, 2020 release, with Cathy Yan (of the Zazie Beetz indie Dead Pigs) directing.
Perez’s career goes all the way back to Soul Train, on which she was a frequent line dancer, leading to her Emmy-nominated gig as choreographer on In Living Color. She danced her way through the opening credits of her breakthrough movie, Spike Lee’ Do the Right Thing, which led to movie-stealing turns in Night on Earth, White Men Can’t Jump, and Fearless, for which was nominated for an Oscar. She’s always been working, including as a co-host of The View from 2014 to 2015. Perez could mop the floor with Harley Quinn without even blinking.