The DC Extended Universe has been on a roll as of late, both with critics and at the box office. James Wan’s AQUAMAN turned out to be an amazing success, making over $1 billion worldwide. And not only has David F. Sandberg’s SHAZAM! made over $100 million in North America, but it has also earned the best reviews of any film in the franchise since Patty Jenkins’ WONDER WOMAN.
It’s a streak that fans everywhere are hoping stays alive with the release of Cathy Yan’s BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN) next year — and based on what AMC got to see at CinemaCon earlier this month, it looks like it has a great shot.
Warner Bros. didn’t bring traditional footage or a standard trailer to the annual Las Vegas-based convention for theatre owners, but instead introduced a behind-the-scenes featurette that offered a glimpse into what fans can expect from the adventure. In addition to many shots of the cast in their costumes — including Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya — there were also interviews with the actors and filmmakers explaining what to expect from the upcoming comic book blockbuster.
One particularly interesting detail that was noted was from Margot Robbie, who explained that her character isn’t actually a part of the titular team in the comics and won’t necessarily be a part of the group in the film (which is comprised of the other heroines mentioned above). In Robbie’s own words, “She delves in and out, but she's not an official member.” Instead, she will be included in the story as an instigator who stirs things up and becomes involved with the girl gang following a breakup with her boyfriend, the Joker (Jared Leto).
While not much has been revealed about his role just yet, the primary villain in BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN) will be Roman Sionis aka Black Mask, who will be making his live-action debut in the film. Played by Ewan McGregor, the character is one of Batman’s more formidable foes on the pages of DC Comics and actually a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, before growing up to be a demented psychopath with a knack for crime. He was briefly featured in the footage wearing a spiffy black suit and a pair of sunglasses.
Described as “not Batman’s Gotham” by Margot Robbie in the CinemaCon footage, the setting of the new movie should also offer a brand-new experience for fans well familiar with the famed comic book city, which has been shown in different fashions going back to the first live-action adaptations in the early 1940s. Director Cathy Yan called it “so much scrappier” than versions of Gotham we’ve previously seen on the silver screen, and we’ll just have to wait and see how that translates.
We still have a while to wait for BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN), which is currently scheduled for release on February 7, 2020, but based on what we learned at CinemaCon, we couldn’t be more excited.