Why Birds Of Prey’s Trailer Ignores The Movie’s Actual Team For Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn as Marilyn Monroe Margot Robbie Birds of Prey

Ignoring the lengthy title, the first trailer for Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) still seems to be unreasonably focused upon the character of Harley Quinn compared to the titular team. There are, thankfully, logical reasons for this beyond the star-power of actress/producer Margot Robbie, who took the initiative to make a movie featuring the all-women vigilante team.

Birds of Prey started as a series of one-shot specials, before being published as an on-going monthly comic beginning in 1999. The series originally focused upon the duo of master martial artist Dinah Lance (a.k.a. Black Canary) and white-hat hacker Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Oracle), yet in time the team grew to include other costumed crime-fighters, including Helena Bertinelli (a.k.a. Huntress) and Zinda Blake (a.k.a. Lady Blackhawk.) Though the team was made up of heroic vigilantes, they still operated in the grey areas other superheroes avoided, with Oracle stealing from the bank accounts of criminals and the team frequently working with professional killers like Lady Shiva in the name of a greater good.

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Related: Birds of Prey Shows How "Different" Can Be Good For DC

Despite inspiring a television series on The WB network and becoming one of DC Comics' most critically acclaimed series under the pen of Gail Simone, Birds of Prey and the heroines associated with the team are not household names. Barbara Gordon is more famous in the mainstream media as Batgirl and the Arrowverse has three characters based on Black Canary dividing her fandom. From that perspective, it makes sense for the first Birds of Prey trailer to focus on Harley Quinn, who is far more recognizable to general audiences because of her starring role in Suicide Squad.

Birds of Prey Movie Harley Quinn Black Canary Rene Montoya Huntress Cassandra Cain

Ignoring that Harley is the most famous of the DC Comics characters featured in Birds of Prey, the structure of the trailer provides another reason for it to focus on her. Harley's relationship with The Joker is well-known and has been the defining point of her character in most of the media non-comics readers are familiar with. By basing the trailer around the idea of a Harley Quinn that is trying to free herself from Joker and their toxic relationship, and build a new life for herself (a conceit that has been used twice in Harley's solo comic books), it hooks the attention of audiences unfamiliar with the more independent Harley from the modern comics and cartoons.

Another reason we may not see the team featured prominently in the trailer is that the movie may be based around the Birds of Prey's formation. The trailer features Harley telling the other assembled heroes that "he's after all of us now" and "none of us are walking out of here unless we work together." It could be that Harley Quinn is the catalyst that brings the various heroes making up the Birds of Prey together in this reality instead of Barbara Gordon, even if she isn't part of the team herself. Given that, it would be hard for the Birds of Prey trailer to profile the team if there isn't a team to profile until near the end of the movie.

More: Birds of Prey Trailer Song (And What It Means for Harley Quinn)

Key Release Dates
  • 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
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