Margot Robbie’s Birds of Prey Will Take Flight in 2020
We have been chirping about this awesome news since May and are ecstatic that Birds of Prey has an official release date. The all-girl DC comics movie starring Margot Robbie, reprising her role as that lovable lunatic Harley Quinn, has been gaining momentum for now, and now The Wrap has reported that Birds of Prey is on the slate for February 2020.
For the ‘girl gang’ movie, Robbie’s returning to a role she absolutely owned in Suicide Squad. Harley Quinn is the best bad girl in the DCEU, and Robbie was easily the breakout star of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, which was at its best anytime it tapped into Harley’s headspace. That is a wild and often unpredictable place, but Robbie really invested herself in learning what made the character tick. Robbie told Collider this spring that Harley is a social being and it makes sense for her to have other skilled ladies around.
“I pitched the idea of an R-rated girl gang film including Harley, because I was like, ‘Harley needs friends.’ Harley loves interacting with people, so don’t ever make her do a standalone film. She’s got to be with other people, it should be a girl gang. I wasn’t seeing enough girl gangs on screen, especially in the action space. So that was always a big part of it.”
So who are the lucky ladies that get to count Harley as an intimate friend? DC legends Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya are expected to round out the group. Black Canary is so named for high powered cry than immobilize enemies. Huntress may be the character, other than Harley, who is most closely associated with Birds of Prey. Ashley Scott starred as the daughter of Batman and Catwoman in the 2002 single-season series of the same name. Montoya is a Gotham City PD detective in the comics. As a gay character, the role would be trailblazing if her sexuality transfers to the screen. Ruby Rose is expected to break that barrier on the upcoming Batwoman series.
As for the film’s villain, the last we heard this past August was that sadistic Batman supervillain Black Mask will be featured in Birds of Prey. Who’s Black Mask? Roman Sionus, aka Black Mask, is a mob kingpin in Gotham with a lunatic fixation on masks (ever notice how the DCEU villains seem to all be raving lunatics?. He was created by Doug Moench and Tom Mandrake, making his first appearance in August 1985’s Batman issue #386. Eventually, Black Mask created a kind of cult, called The False Face Society, who acted as his brutally loyal mob. “Every member of the society was given a mask that would reveal their ‘true’ selves, and the whole practice eventually became a sort of religious experience, making the False Facers some of the most loyal and devoted scumbags around,” writes DCcomics.com.
Harley’s story is most heavily intertwined with the Joker, but don’t expect her to pop up alongside Joaquin Phoenix. Harley has made it clear there is only one Joker for her, and that is Jared Leto. While production of Birds of Prey and Joker may nearly overlap, they do not occur in the same universe. The girl gang will be tied to Suicide Squad and any direct spinoffs. Joker is expected to be a more microscopic look at the origin of the laughing madman’s life of crime. It also looks like director Todd Phillips is going retro and the film will take place before Bruce Wayne pulls on the bat suit. Unlike the MCU that is strictly interconnected, the DCEU is a more free-flowing format with room to explore characters under different contexts. How else could we experience The Dark Knight and Justice League in the same decade while the Avengers are still building off Iron Man 10 years later?
Further casting for Birds of Prey has not yet been announced, but Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jurnee Smolett-Bell, Margaret Qualley, and Cristin Milioti are among the actors who have reportedly tested for roles. Director Cathy Yan has long been attached to the project since Robbie first mentioned it in May and is still expected to helm the film. Yan’s debut film Dead Pigs won a special jury prize at Sundance.
Featured Image: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Courtesy: Warner Bros Pictures