Your Guide to DC’s Birds of Prey

January 29th, 2020Your Guide to DC’s Birds of Prey

Everyone who saw Margot Robbie in SUICIDE SQUAD immediately knew she was special. Her character, Harley Quinn, is a chaotic force that commands attention; she’s fun and terrifying at the same time.

Robbie was already well on her way to stardom, but SUICIDE SQUAD turned her into an icon. Harley casually holding a baseball bat, wearing multicolored pigtails, is one of the defining images of DC’s movie lineup from Warner Bros. It makes all the sense in the world that WB would be quick to get this character back on screen.

Robbie returns as Harley Quinn in BIRDS OF PREY, set to fly into theatres next month. The new movie will bring many more DC characters to the screen as well. Here’s everything we know about BIRDS OF PREY at this moment.

When Does Birds of Prey Open?

Birds of Pre

The DCEU film hits theatres on February 7. While February was once a no-fly zone for films like this, things have changed. DEADPOOL was a smashing success when it opened in February 2016, for example, and like that comic book movie, BIRDS OF PREY is also R-rated. BLACK PANTHER also dominated for Marvel Studios in February 2018. There’s no bad time to open a blockbuster anymore.

Is There a Birds of Prey Trailer?

After a much-longer-than-normal wait, BIRDS OF PREY launched its first trailer on October 1, 2019, which you can watch above. It shows off the various characters in play, all of whom will be discussed further in this feature, but it also showcases the film as very much a Harley Quinn movie.

Can I See Birds of Prey in IMAX?

Yes, and you absolutely should! Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is in top form, and her vibrant character finally gets the focus she deserves in her own standalone story of redemption. Plus, BIRDS OF PREY is packed with action, and IMAX at AMC elevates the experience with heart-pounding audio and the clearest images.

The Birds of Prey Director

Birds of Prey Director

The film’s director is a cool choice. Her name is Cathy Yan, and she’s a business school grad who became a journalist (with jobs at the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal) before becoming a filmmaker. Yan’s first feature, DEAD PIGS, debuted at Sundance 2018 to glowing reviews. The Shanghai-set story looks at family and cultural changes in China. Margot Robbie reportedly specifically wanted Yan to direct BIRDS OF PREY.

What’s the Full Title?

BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN)

One of the most interesting details about the movie is the full title: BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN). Robbie first revealed the info via Instagram. That long title suggests that Harley really gets to come into her own in the new story — and that’s what we all want!

The Birds of Prey Story

Birds of Prey

This is what we know about BIRDS OF PREY so far. Christina Hodson, whose most recent big release is BUMBLEBEE, wrote the script. The new film takes place sometime after SUICIDE SQUAD and finds that the relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn has soured. As a result, Mr. J throws his girlfriend to the curb, and she must find her way to survive without his protection in the Gotham criminal underworld.

The story teams Harley with three other characters: Huntress, Black Canary and Gotham City PD detective Renee Montoya. Why? Well, a young girl, Cassandra Cain, ends up with a very special diamond belonging to Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), one of the most powerful criminals in Gotham’s new underworld. The women individually set out to rescue Cassandra with their own motives in mind, bringing together the titular team for the first time.

The Birds of Prey Cast

Birds of Prey Cast

Here’s where things get fun. Naturally, Margot Robbie plays Harleen Quinzel, aka Harley Quinn. She was once a psychiatrist, but has left that life behind to pursue, well, whatever she wants. She’s unpredictable, to say the least, so assuming any one type of behavior from Harley is a very bad idea.

Ewan McGregor ("Fargo," TRAINSPOTTING, the STAR WARS prequels) plays Black Mask, aka Roman Sionis. The ruthless Black Mask has been a fixture of Batman comics for years — he’s a crime boss who, as his name implies, uses masks to intimidate underlings and terrify victims.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell ("Friday Night Lights," "True Blood") plays Black Canary. In the comics, Black Canary is a crime fighter who is often paired with the archer Green Arrow. In BIRDS OF PREY, she is employed as a singer at a lounge owned by Roman Sionis.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, "Fargo") plays Huntress. As with Black Canary, there have been several different comic book versions of the character. The most recent comic stories cast her as a mafia princess who becomes a vigilante after the murder of her family. She’s more violent than Black Canary, but not as berserk as Harley.

Rosie Perez (FEARLESS, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS) plays Gotham City PD detective Renee Montoya. She teams up with Harley, Canary and Huntress. In the comics, she’s a central character in "Gotham Central," which tells stories about Gotham’s police force. Like Harley, she was actually created for "Batman: The Animated Series," but soon made her way to other media.

New talent Ella Jay Basco plays Cassandra Cain, the young girl who is threatened by Black Mask. In the comics, Cain eventually becomes Batgirl, though we don’t know if that’s going to be her path on screen, too.

Finally, Chris Messina plays Victor Zsasz, with Talon Reid, Steven Williams, Derek Wilson, Dana Lee, François Chau, Matthew Willig and Ali Wong all reportedly having roles as well.

Any Relation Between This Movie and "Birds of Prey" on TV?

Black Canary Arrowverse

There is no connection between BIRDS OF PREY and any of the TV incarnations of these characters. In 2002, the TV series "Birds of Prey" brought Harley, Huntress, Black Canary and Barbara Gordon (aka Oracle) together for a show that only lasted 13 episodes. It was before its time! Some of these characters have also appeared on The CW’s "Arrowverse" shows (above), but those versions and BIRDS OF PREY won’t connect.

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