When DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures brought out their third installment to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) of superhero films, at first glance it felt like a risky gamble. After all, “Suicide Squad” is about an ad hoc team of incarcerated super-villains being deployed as a deniable-asset black-ops team by a corrupt government liaison, in exchange for sentence reductions. Still, it managed to overcome negative reviews and run wild at the box office thanks to the performance of its main cast, particularly Australian actress Margot Robbie who plays violent anti-heroine Harley Quinn. With her next DCEU film appearance coming soon, she has cheekily revealed that future movie’s full title.
As The Hollywood Reporter tells it, the eighth feature film chapter of the DCEU, slated to premiere in 2020 under the name “Birds of Prey”, did not have its complete title revealed just yet. Its current name is already the title of a long-running DC Comic book about an all-female team of vigilantes related to Batman, who also operate in Gotham City. It happens that Margot Robbie is part of the cast reprising has Harley Quinn, similar to her comic-book version in the past. And she just revealed that “Bird of Prey” has a subtitle.
In an Instagram post she shared with a photo of her film script, Robbie had written, under the typed “Birds of Prey” title, the addition “and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn”. Following the media buzz, it was confirmed by DC-Warner to THR that it is indeed the official full title of the film. Robbie in fact is taking the lead role as Harley, assembling a team of costumed lady vigilantes – Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) – to take on crime boss Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).
The subtitle mentioning “emancipation” for Harley Quinn is a reference to the character’s DC Comics history. Created in the 1990s as a female sidekick/girlfriend for Batman’s archenemy Joker, Harley (formerly psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel) was eventually reinvented as an independent character in the 2010s, after highlighting in storylines that Joker was an abusive and manipulative lover to her over the years. Writers have since built up Harley as a solo antiheroic figure that became a breakout popular character under the DC brand. Her emancipation in terms of her DCEU version would likely come from how she would act in “Birds of Prey” following “Suicide Squad”.
“Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn)” is to be produced by Sue Kroll and directed by Cathy Yan on a Christina Hodson screenplay. It is due to release in February 2020. Meanwhile, DCEU films “Aquaman” starring Jason Momoa, and “Shazam!” starring Zachary Levi, premiere respectively on December 21 and April 2019.
Image courtesy of Slash Film