Birds Of Prey – Everything You Need To Know About Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn Spin-Off

Margot Robbie - Harley Quinn

by Owen Williams |
Updated on

Suicide Squad was, shall we say, not universally loved... but everyone was at least happy with the idea of continued adventures for Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. And that day has now arrived. Here's everything you need to know about the Harley-starring spin-off Birds of Prey.

What is Birds of Prey?

Birds of Prey - DC comics

Birds of Prey is a Warner/DC movie based on the DC comics series. In the comics, the Birds of Prey are a female superhero team with a fluid membership that has welcomed, at one time or another, Batgirl, Black Canary, Huntress, Power Girl and even Catwoman and Poison Ivy, among many others. For the film, the Birds of Prey will include Black Canary, Huntress and Gotham Central's detective Rene Montaya. But it also serves as a vehicle for the return of Suicide Squad's Harley Quinn, still played by Margot Robbie and this time on the side of the angels. Albeit possibly angels with dirty faces.

Is Birds of Prey the sequel to Suicide Squad?

Birds of Prey script - Margot Robbie instagram
©Margot Robbie / Instagram

Not really. Birds of Prey is probably best described as a Harley Quinn spin-off. The actual sequel to Suicide Squad – which in itself is being described as a "relaunch" – is The Suicide Squad, currently on its way into production with James Gunn directing. Margot Robbie will be in that too, although otherwise the character roster will mostly be new. The Suicide Squad isn't due until 2021, meaning that Birds of Prey arrives first. Its full title is Birds of Prey. No, really.

Who stars in Birds of Prey?

Margot Robbie - Harley Quinn

Margot Robbie is Harleen Quinzell AKA Harley Quinn, the former psychiatrist turned crazed criminal and now turned... something else. Robbie is also a producer on the film and has been instrumental in its development. Her vision was always for "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'".

Jurnee Smollett-Bell is Black Canary, a Gotham vigilante, generally in fishnets – in the comics at least. Robbie has promised that the costumes in Birds of Prey will not be "male fantasy" or "male gaze-y".

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is Helena Bertinelli AKA Huntress: another vigilante and the daughter of mafioso Franco Bertinelli.

Rosie Perez is Renee Montoya, a detective with the Gotham City Police Department.

Ewan McGregor is Roman Sionis AKA Black Mask, a Gotham crime lord who threatens Cain.

Ella Jay Basco is Cassandra Cain, a young girl who is threatened by Black Mask.

Chris Messina is Victor Zsasz, a Gotham serial killer who carves a mark on his body for each kill.

Charlene Amoia, Talon Reid, Steven Williams, Derek Wilson, Dana Lee, François Chau, Matthew Willig, Robert Catrini, and Ali Wong are also in the cast.

Will Jared Leto's Joker appear in Birds of Prey?

Suicide Squad - Harley & Joker

Not that we know of yet, and it's perhaps unlikely. It's not impossible though, especially if you include the likelihood of brief flashbacks to or outtakes from Suicide Squad. The extended title of Birds of Prey ("The Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn") appears to tie the film to a comics storyline in which Harley finally tore herself free from her toxic romance with The Joker. So basically Birds of Prey is post-Joker.

Who directed Birds of Prey?

Cathy Yan
©Michael Loccisano / Getty

Birds of Prey's director is Cathy Yan, a former reporter for the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal who made her feature directing debut in 2018 with the satirical Shanghai comedy-drama Dead Pigs. She scored the DC job by impressing the suits at the pitch meeting.

"The script (by Bumblebee's Christina Hodson) had so much dark humour to it which a lot of my work does," Yan explained in October 2018, "and there are themes of female empowerment which are so strong and relateable. So I went in with, not with confidence, but at least a sense that I belonged in the room... and I was definitely going to make the best of it. I put together a sizzle reel, but I would say it wasn’t like a lot of other sizzle reels which reference other films that (are) like your film. I find those to be rather pointless. I created my own version that thematically and tonally conveyed what you would feel (in my movie)."

When is Birds of Prey released?

Suicide Squad - Margot Robbie

Birds of Prey – the first R-rated DC movie to get a theatrical release – hits cinemas on 7 February 2020.


Birds of Prey poster
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