Cathy Yan, director of the upcoming Bird of Prey, has confirmed that the film will indeed be rated R. The movie will follow Harley Quinn, played once again by Margot Robbie, as she teams up Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) in a Gotham City without Batman. Now it looks like Harley and friends will be fighting to save Cassandra Cain in a universe unhindered by a PG-13 rating.
Ever since Robbie’s Harley Quinn became a standout in 2016’s Suicide Squad, DC Films has been eager to bring her character back to the big screen. There are plans for four Harley-centric films with Birds of Prey steadily moving forward. The film will be directed by Yan and has a script written by Christina Hodson. Rosie Perez has also joined the cast as Gotham Detective Renee Montoya. No villain has been confirmed, although it’s looking more and more likely to be Black Mask. The film is slated to be released February 7, 2020.
Yan appeared at the U.S.-China Entertainment Summit where she spoke about the project. According to Deadline, she explained how she landed the job as director and gave a few details about what audiences can expect, including the film’s rating. It was previously rumored that Warner Bros./DC was thinking of making Birds of Prey the first R-rated film of the DCEU. Robbie, who first pitched the Harley Quinn spinoff, had teased the possibility of the film being R. Yan has since confirmed it.
Studios have often balked at the idea of making a superhero film R, believing anything over PG-13 won’t attract a large enough audience to be financially worthwhile. But recent films like Logan, Deadpool, and its sequel proving that a compelling story can draw fans regardless of the rating. Deadpool 2 was such a success it managed to become the third highest-grossing R-rated film.
Encouraged by the financial hits made by 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros/DC is now trying their hand at an R-rating. But the studio already showed signs of their willingness to push the boundaries with Titans, the flagship series for the DC Universe streaming service. The show garnered a lot of attention with their f-bomb dropping Robin and they may be hoping to continue that trend with a dark take on the Birds of Prey. But a lot of press does not necessarily mean a big payout at the box office. As DC tries to revitalize the DCEU following the less-than-impressive Justice League, the studio should try to learn from past mistakes. After all, it’s not the rating that makes the movie, but its story.
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- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019