From a pure marketing standpoint, there’s no denying that Warner Bros. is trying to show that “Birds of Prey” isn’t your typical superhero film. Sure, there’s the fact that the film is focused on anti-heroes and carries an R-rating, but this is also supposed to be a badass movie led by a group of women. That’s something that isn’t seen in superhero films very often (or at all). Well, there’s likely going to be another aspect that is going to separate the film from others in the genre—sexuality. Particularly, the sexuality of the villains.
As seen in trailers for the film, actors Ewan McGregor and Chris Messina play the Black Mask and Victor Zsasz, respectively. And from the beginning, rumors swirled that the characters would be portrayed as gay men that might be in a relationship with each other. This is in stark contrast to how the characters have been portrayed in comic books. But again, nothing has been confirmed.
Well, until now.
Speaking to Variety, McGregor and Messina were asked point-blank if Black Mask and Zsasz are gay in the film. And it appears that the rumors were true. Although, it’s clear that the actors aren’t sure if they’re allowed to say so or not.
“Their relationship is very much based in [how] there’s a want and need in there, for sure,” said McGregor.
“And there’s a real love of anarchy,” added Messina.
McGregor chimed in, as Messina began to stumble on his words to confirm the sexuality question once and for all, and said, “More than likely.”
Now, we’ve seen LGBTQ characters show up in major blockbuster franchise films in years past, but for the most part, the sexuality of the characters has barely been hinted at, at all. And in the case of WB’s own ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series, the sexuality of two lead characters has only been confirmed by the filmmaker and writer in interviews and never is explicitly shown on screen. So, we’ll just have to wait and see if the sexualities of Black Mask and Zsasz are merely set dressing for “Birds of Prey” or will be highlighted in the film at all.
“Birds of Prey” arrives in theaters on February 7.