Rumored story details for Warner Bros' Birds of Prey reveal how reported villain Black Mask factors into the plot. Starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, the project recently finished unveiling its core cast. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jurnee Smollett-Bell are playing Huntress and Black Canary respectively, and Rosie Perez was announced as Gotham Detective Renee Montoya. Production is set to begin in early 2019, and the release is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2020.
Birds of Prey will presumably take place after Harley has left the Joker behind, in a Gotham City without Batman. Although the script for a Joker and Harley Quinn movie was written, there's no word on it moving ahead. Harley teams with Huntress (Helena Bertinelli), a vigilante and the daughter of a murdered mafia boss, and Black Canary (Dinah Drake), a sometimes government agent and singer, in an effort to protect would-be master assassin Cassandra Cain - who later becomes Batgirl in the comics. Although Barbara Gordon was part of the team in the books, it's expected she'll not appear. Unlike Barbara's father Jim Gordon, Detective Renee Montoya will be aiming to abade rather than assist Gotham's shadowy new anti-heroes, as they go up against mob boss Black Mask. Spoiler alert, dead ahead.
RTF reports that while saving Cassandra brings the trio together, her rescue won't be the film's final showdown. Instead, she'll be recovered at some point in the second act of the movie, leaving the group to face off against Black Mask and a barrage of his goons in the final act.
This opens an opportunity for an epic conflict between Huntress and Black Mask, who likely killed her father. Detective Montoya will reportedly become a reluctant ally, which may involve her or the Gotham police force in the final confrontation. It remains to be seen if Harley's sometimes-comic book-allies Catwoman or Poison Ivy, or any members of the DCEU Suicide Squad will make a cameo. The latter is more conceivable, considering the announcement of James Gunn's Suicide Squad 2 project last week.
The film has some first-time opportunities with an ensemble of exceptionally talented actresses playing a group of female superheros operating without their traditional male counterparts. Robbie's Harley Quinn has continued to be immensely popular, and watching her take on a leadership role in life after the Joker could make for excellent character development, and more movie deals ahead. Between their shared goal to save Cassandra, each of the three's different motivations could be the catalyst in some fantastic group chemistry. Harley's clinical psychology background and personal trauma may come back to haunt her, Huntress may see her herself in the young girl trapped by mob ties, and Black Canary, with a levity of singer, may be able to relate to her on a more personal level. Hopefully set footage and an eventual trailer aren't far ahead.