DC's Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn) isn't a particular serious movie, according to star/producer Margot Robbie. The Oscar-nominee, who is reprising her Suicide Squad role as the demented Harley Quinn in the spinoff, confirmed that the extended title is the real thing during her appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon this week.
So far, reactions to the Birds of Prey movie's full title have been decidedly mixed. While many fans feels the Birds of Prey title is unnecessarily silly and a cash-grab to include Harley Quinn's name, others (namely, Harley Quinn co-creator Paul Dini) have argued that the title is a perfect reflection of Harley's skewed worldview and reads like something that the character herself would have scribbled down on the script. Robbie, for her part, has described the film's extra-long title as being a tone-setter as much as anything else.
During her interview with Jimmy Fallon, Robbie explained "It's not a very serious movie, so we thought the title should reflect that. Birds of Prey makes it sound very serious and [the title] is kinda like Harley adding her 'Hey, I'm in this too!'" She went on to talk about her affection for long-winded movie titles in general (even name-dropping The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared as an example) and confirmed that Birds of Prey starts production in early 2019, with Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) directing and Christina Hodson (Bumblebee) handling the script.
Birds of Prey (which Yan has confirmed will be rated R) follows Harley as as she forms a gang with Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Dinah Lance/Black Canary (June Smollett-Bell), in order to do battle with the sadistic Gotham City crime boss Roman Sionis aka. Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). While the film arguably sounds more serious than not, Robbie's comments suggest that Birds of Prey won't shy away from Harley's outlandish personality and behavior in particular. Yan's directorial debut Dead Pigs didn't exactly have a happy-go-lucky premise either (the setup involves thousands of... well, dead pigs floating down a river to Shanghai), yet she managed to aptly balance the film's comedy and drama, and clearly aims to do the same with her DC adaptation.
Beyond that, of course, Robbie's comments could be a reflection of the DC Extended Universe's ongoing efforts to leave its reputation for being excessively grim-dark in the past. Whereas Zack Snyder's DCEU adventures Man of Steel and Batman V Superman were criticized for being oppressively downbeat and serious, upcoming entries like James Wan's Aquaman, David F. Sandberg's Shazam!, and now Birds of Prey have been sold as superhero films that are far more willing to embrace their innate ridiculousness. There's still plenty of room for a wide variety of tones in the franchise though, as evidenced by Birds of Prey's R-rated approach and elaborate title.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- 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