Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) writer Christina Hodson says the DC Extended Universe film isn't a traditional team-up movie. If there's one thing that Suicide Squad's fans and detractors seem to agree on, it's that Margot Robbie's performance as the wildcard Harley Quinn was easily the film's strongest element. In fact, following Suicide Squad's release, Warner Bros. seem far more interested in making a Harley Quinn spinoff than a direct sequel (though, that's also happening now, in the form of James Gunn's The Suicide Squad).
Eventually, the studio settled on Birds of Prey, a film that pairs Harley with DC superheroes Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), as well as their begrudging ally, Gotham City police detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez). Together, the four take on Roman Sionis aka. Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), a vicious Gotham crime lord who targets the teenager - and future Batgirl - Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), with the aid of the equally sadistic assassin Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina). And unlike Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey won't have to worry about being held back by that pesky PG-13 rating.
In the past, Robbie has described Birds of Prey as being a "girl gang film including Harley", explains that a standalone film wouldn't make sense for the off-kilter, yet sociable character. Hodson, who's coming off writing last year's acclaimed Transformers spinoff Bumblebee, echoed her comments in a recent interview with Total Film (via GamesRadar), saying “Margot knew she wanted to tell a ‘Harley Quinn plus girls’ story. That was kind of where she began with it. She knew she wanted a girl gang. She wanted Harley to have friends”.
As she revealed to Total Film, Hodson actually met with Robbie to talk about ideas for a Harley Quinn spinoff four years ago, before Suicide Squad opened in theaters. They ultimately "gravitated" towards Birds of Prey, with Hodson explaining that "it’s not a traditional team-up", much in the same way that everything Harley does isn't exactly what anyone would call "traditional". That's already been reflected in the film's marketing, with the Birds of Prey poster embracing Harley's weirdness by depicting its characters flying around Robbie's head (as though they're birds circling a dazed cartoon character). The Birds of Prey teaser currently playing in theaters is similarly offbeat in that it starts off as a fake IT Chapter Two promo before a needle-drop of The Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Heads Will Roll" kicks off the real footage.
In general, Warner Bros. and DC have been willing to mix things up of late, between giving a quirky superhero like Shazam! his own film or releasing an R-rated Joker movie that doesn't even take place in the DCEU. By doing so, they're finally started to catch up to Marvel, after their attempt to emulate the success of the MCU with Justice League failed to pan out. Thankfully, based on Hodson's latest comments, that won't change with Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), and the film itself has the potential to be just as madcap as a Harley Quinn "team-up" should be.
Source: Total Film via GamesRadar
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
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- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
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