Super-villain team-up movie Suicide Squad is getting a sequel from director James Gunn, but before that fans have a spin-off to look forward to starring Margot Robbie’s Joker-sidekick-gone-solo Harley Quinn.
Check out everything you need to know at the rather vaingloriously titled Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) below.
When is Birds of Prey released in cinemas?
Birds of Prey will be released on 7th February 2020 in the UK, US and around the world. At time of writing the movie’s reshoots have just been completed, so we’re not far off yet!
Is there a Birds of Prey trailer?
There are two! The first trailer was released in October 2019, the second followed in January 2020. The footage introduces us to Harley’s new life after breaking up with the Joker (Jared Leto in Suicide Squad, not Joaquin Phoenix), and shows how she teams up with some other female heroes to take on a ruthless gangster played by Ewan McGregor.
You can watch the footage above.
Prior to that, footage was released a few months ago showing off the new-look Harley Quinn and her team-mates and foes, who include some of DC comics’ oldest super-heroines and villains.
A new poster has also been revealed showing off the cast and hinting at the film’s off-the-wall sensibilities.
— Birds of Prey (@birdsofpreywb) September 17, 2019
Who’s in the Birds of Prey cast?
Joining Robbie in the team are Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary (a hero in the comics since the 1940s with a sonic scream), Mary Elizabeth Winstead as vigilante Huntress, Rosie Perez as Detective Renee Montoya and Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, a future Batgirl in the original comics.
Opposing them will be Ewan McGregor’s Gotham crime lord The Black Mask and serial killer Victor Zsasz, played by Chris Messina.
Comedian and actor Ali Wong, who recently co-wrote and starred in Netflix movie Always be My Maybe, has also been cast in an undisclosed role.
The film was written by British screenwriter Christina Hodson (Bumblebee) and directed by Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs), with Chad Stahelski (John Wick) stepping in to oversee action sequences for reshoots (via The Hollywood Reporter).
What is the plot of Birds of Prey?
Following the events of Suicide Squad (and, offscreen, the departure of actor Ben Affleck) Batman is nowhere to be found, and Gotham City is unprotected from crime.
When a young girl called Cassandra accidentally finds a diamond belonging to the formidable Black Mask crime lord, former villain Harley Quinn (who has left Batman’s arch-foe The Joker) teams up with Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to protect her.
The film’s ties to Suicide Squad are expected to be minimal, with writer Christina Hodson telling Total Film: “Obviously, yes, it’s a character we have met before, but it’s really its own story, and that’s kind of how I approached it… I just created a brand new story that felt like its own thing, and that doesn’t have to feel like it follows one or the other.”
Will Birds of Prey have a sequel?
Apparently, there’s a whole trilogy about Harley Quinn in the works, with the next follow-up set to be based on the “Gotham City Sirens” storyline which saw Harley join up with Catwoman and Posion Ivy.
Whether this film actually gets made, and in what form, may depend on Birds of Prey’s success.
How does Birds of Prey tie in with the other DC movies and Suicide Squad?
Warner Bros’ connected superhero universe hasn’t found quite as much success as Disney and Marvel’s, and with the exit of Ben Affleck’s Batman (and possibly Henry Cavill’s Superman) it’s unclear just how much crossover there will be going forward.
What is likely is that the events of Birds of Prey will feed directly into James Gunn’s Suicide Squad movie, which is also set to star Robbie’s Quinn and will reportedly ignore quite a lot of the first Suicide Squad story.
Despite the character’s close association with The Joker, however, the film won’t tie in to Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips’ new take on the Clown Prince of Crime, as that story is set in its own universe.
Are there any reviews of Birds of Prey?
Reviews for the film are a long way off, but fans have had cause for early concern after a couple of test screenings which, according to ScreenRant’s Stephen M Colbert, caused a split in opinion.
So the audience test screening for Birds of Prey had people raving about it and the internal WB test screening seemingly had the opposite effect. So basically all I needed to be reassured. Hopefully Robbie can keep their hands off of it.
— ☕Stephen M. Colbert (@smcolbert) July 13, 2019
Fans are now worried that Warner Bros. – who are reportedly unhappy with the early cut – will alter the version that went down so well with fans, with some recalling the finished versions of Justice League and Suicide Squad which underwent a number of reshoots ahead of release…
They better stay off. We saw what happened when they weren’t happy with JL. Just trust your creatives
— George (@Hypnotique89) July 13, 2019
Birds of Prey is released in cinemas on 7th February 2020. While you’re waiting why not watch the DC movies in order.