Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) writer Christina Hodson says the movie is more of a standalone film that continues Harley Quinn's story than a sequel to Suicide Squad. It was in the 2016 movie that Margot Robbie made her debut as the popular DC character Harley Quinn. Suicide Squad was a box office hit, but the reactions to the movie itself were certainly mixed.
Robbie's performance shined brighter than anything else in the movie, though, and saw Warner Bros. immediately put several different Harley Quinn-centric movies in development. Out of the mix, it was Birds of Prey that solidified itself as the best project. Written by Christina Hodson and produced by Robbie, the movie came together as an R-rated girl gang story that would see Harley team up with other female DC characters, like Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell). Cathy Yan was hired to direct the film last year and many have wondered how connected it will be to the larger DC shared universe.
The Birds of Prey writer recently spoke to Total Film (via Harley Quinn Updates) and discussed her approach to making the movie. She first teased how the subtitle of the film came to be before moving on to talk about the story. Hodson described it as a "standalone story" rather than a sequel to Suicide Squad and explained how she wrote a story that could continue Harley's narrative without relying on what came before.
Obviously, yes, it's a character we have met before, but it's really its own story, and that's kind of how I approached it. I just tried to take myself off-leash. I fell in love with this character, and then all of these other new characters. And I just created a brand new story that felt like its own thing, and that doesn't have to feel like it follows one or the other.
Hodson's standalone approach to Birds of Prey will still give audiences the version of Harley that they've quickly come to love, but it will also allow the film to be a fresh entry point for viewers. The official and unofficial looks at Birds of Prey indicate that Harley is growing as a character from where she was at the end of Suicide Squad. She's crossed out a tattooed reference to Joker and appears to have moved on from him, which works to give Harley a fresh start when Birds of Prey begins.
Birds of Prey isn't the only DC movie that is taking the idea of being a standalone story first to heart though. Almost everyone involved with The Suicide Squad refuses to call it a sequel or a reboot, with the label of both potentially being accurate at the end of the day. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman 1984 has been described as being "not a sequel" either despite it returning most of the main cast and creative team. With Matt Reeves' The Batman going back to the Dark Knight's earlier days as a hero too, DC Films is certainly attempting to add some separation to their movies. Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) will be a great test of this idea, and hopefully, it won't be too much longer before some more news, photos, or even a trailer arrive.
Source: Harley Quinn Updates
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
- DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
- Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022