Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) writer Christina Hodson explained how the movie came to receive its long and interesting title. Starring Margot Robbie as breakout Suicide Squad character Harley Quinn, Birds of Prey is expected to go against the grain of past DCEU movies by establishing a non-serious tone. In another switch from Suicide Squad, the movie will likely also see Quinn shedding her signature tattoos.
Though Suicide Squad was in many ways a success for DC and Warner Bros., it appears the studios wish to move away from the previously established DCEU model and create new, original vehicles for their various characters. One way or another, DC will have a busy release slate in coming years as they continue to roll out big budget tentpole comic book movies. Among the upcoming titles is a standalone Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix, Shazam! starring Zachari Levi and of course Wonder Woman 1984 starring Gal Gadot and a returning Chris Pine.
As DC tries to one-up Marvel in terms of female-led comic book movies, the studio will also bring back Harley Quinn in a film based on the comic book series Birds of Prey. Many fans were surprised to learn recently that the movie version of Birds of Prey will actually sport the long title Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Now, screenwriter Christina Hodson has explained how she came to arrive at that title and why it was kept for the movie despite its length and strangeness. Speaking to Collider, Hodson said:
I don’t know if I’m officially allowed to say, but there’s no reason why not. It was an unofficial aka [also known as], when I wrote the script. I added it about a year or so ago, almost exactly as it is, just as an aka. I didn’t think we’d ever use it. We’d always used a working title, so I just had it as a cheeky little thing, on the front cover. And then, when we were talking about a title and brainstorming, we all kept drifting back to that one.
Indeed, the full title was first revealed when Margot Robbie posted her copy of the script with the long parenthetical scrawled in ink beneath the typed original title. Many wondered if the whole thing wasn't some kind of joke, but apparently the plan is to stick with the title, which at least has received a stamp of approval from original Birds of Prey co-creator Paul Dini. The title certainly does seem to convey that Birds of Prey will deviate from the dark tone of previous DCEU movies, more proof that DC and Warners are pivoting away from Zack Snyder's take on the DC universe.
As a marketing move, the long title has already done the job of building more intrigue around the movie while also communicating that this version of Harley Quinn will be different than the one depicted in Suicide Squad. Indeed, many comic book fans were not thrilled with the way Quinn was shown in Suicide Squad, so the new, less serious approach may for some people come as a breath of fresh air. It remains to be seen if Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) will prove to be worthy of its mouthful of a title.
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020