Update: While busy promoting her new film Terminal, which opened in U.K. theaters last week, Margot Robbie (above) answered questions about her upcoming role as Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey.
The title, by the way, is not yet confirmed, but Robbie told Flickering Myth that production will begin in January 2019. In addition to starring, Robbie is also serving as a producer on the project, which she said is aiming for an R-rating and will be made with a “much smaller budget.”
Though we don’t know which other characters will be featured in the film, Robbie told Yahoo Movies that she wants to see a diverse cast: “Yep, yes exactly, real life isn’t so one specific image. We’ve got to reflect that onscreen.” She went into more detail about the characters in an interview with Fandom: “I will say that there are a lot of unexplored DC female characters who are unique and complicated and dark and funny and exciting — and not just for their superpowers. Actually, the ones that excite me most don’t have superpowers at all but they have, you know, pretty great backstories and all could kind of live in the world with Harley and create this cool dynamic.”
Robbie also stressed the importance of finding the right director in a talk with Collider: “It was hugely important to find a female director for this, if possible. But at the end of the day — male, female — the best director gets the job and Cathy [Yan] was the best director.” Though other projects have been discussed featuring Harley Quinn, Robbie pitched the idea for this film herself, as she told Moviefone: “I said, ‘I want to make a girl gang, R-rated film that Harley is a part of.’ And we started working on it from there. Meanwhile, over the course of the next few years, the studio was exploring other Harley Quinn spin-offs. But I was not a part of those versions, I was always focused on this one” with writer Christina Hodson (Bumblebee).
(Read our previously-pubished post below for everything else we know about the film.)
In Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn was the clear standout among the dynamic group of superpowered villains assembled for that team. As embodied by Margot Robbie (above), she was very much her own woman; smart, strong and sassy, she did whatever she felt was best for herself in any particular moment.
It’s no wonder that Warner Bros. and DC Films were quick to start development on more films featuring Harley Quinn. We’ve heard about a direct sequel to Suicide Squad; director Gavin O’Connor (The Accountant) was enlisted for that project last year. Suicide Squad director David Ayer got busy working on a spin-off project, Gotham City Sirens, which would revolve around Harley Quinn. We also heard that Harley Quinn might be featured in Birds of Prey, based on a crime-fighting group of women that included Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl.
Now Birds of Prey is coming into greater focus. Reportedly, Cathy Yan has been chosen to direct “an untitled girl gang movie,” according to Deadline. The deal has not yet been closed, but speculation is that the title is Birds of Prey, which would make Yan the first Asian woman hired to direct a superhero movie. What else do we know so far?
Who are the Birds of Prey?
In DC Comics, the superhero Black Canary first appeared in 1947. She has often teamed up with other heroic crimefighters through the years. She began a partnership with Barbara Gordon, daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon, and their team was called Birds of Prey. In the most recent reincarnation in 2016, the team includes Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl), Black Canary and another superhero known as Huntress.
Wait, so Harley Quinn will be a crimefighter?
In one comic book incarnation, Harley Quinn was part of a team (The Secret Six) that aided/bedevilled the heroes. In the TV series Birds of Prey, Harley Quinn (as played by Mia Sara) was a villainous guest star. We’ve already seen how the character behaved in Suicide Squad, so we don’t expect to see Harley Quinn as any sort of traditional hero — that’s just not her style!
It’s probably more than coincidental, by the way, that writer Christina Hodson, who penned the Birds of Prey script, has now been engaged to write Batgirl.
Who is Cathy Yan?
Yan is a former journalist who began making short films before making her feature directorial debut with Dead Pigs. The independent movie debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it won the World Cinema Dramatic Award For Ensemble Acting. Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2) stars in the comedy-drama, which follows a diverse group of characters who are affected when thousands of dead pigs begin floating down a river in China.
Reportedly, Yan gave an “exceptional” presentation for her vision of the upcoming film. Also Margot Robbie “held firm” to her desire for a female director. If things work out, Yan will become the third woman hired by Warner Bros. and DC Films to direct, following in the footsteps of Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) and Ava DuVernay (the upcoming New Gods).
When might we see the movie?
The goal is start production by the end of 2018 or early in 2019, which means that we might see the movie as soon as 2020.