When actress Margot Robbie unveiled the full title of the forthcoming Birds of Prey film on her Instagram account in November, more than a few people scoffed at its lengthiness.
Conjuring visions of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, the DC superheroine flick written by BumbleBee screenwriter Christina Hodson was revealed to have quite the mouthful as its subtitle: (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
Now, after Bumblebee has become a critical success and seems well-liked by audiences, Hodson is becoming quite the commodity, scoring an interview with Variety where she opened up about the reaction to the controversial title.
What kind of response has the title been getting online?
Super mixed, but honestly I don’t have any social media, so I see very little of this stuff. Some people love it, some people think we’re nuts. People will just have to wait and see. I think it’s always hard when you’re doing something bold like that to do it without any context. There’s no marketing yet, we haven’t even started shooting. But all things will start to make sense as we get closer and closer to [premiere date] Feb. 7, 2020.
Hodson also said the title sets a tongue-in-cheek tone for the film. She emphasized that the term emancipation can have many interpretations — and that they would be explored in different ways.
She went on to say that Harley Quinn is her favorite character to write and said Harley “doesn’t have to be in anyone’s shadow. So I’m excited to see Harley stand on her own and be her own thing.”
Hodson could be hinting that Quinn leaves Jared Leto’s Joker behind in this film. But could she also be indicating that Robbie is in line to soar higher than the other Birds? Much of the recent news surrounding the film, which has yet to start filming but is expected to wrap principal photography this upcoming spring, has been focused on the casting of Black Canary, Huntress and Ewan McGregor’s villain, Black Mask.
Since the pair have been staple members of the team in the comics, you could assume that Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s Dinah Lance and Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Helena Bertinelli would co-lead the film. But could they take a major backseat to Hodson’s favorite character?
Harley’s literal lip prints (and doodles) are all over this script.
And perhaps a follow-up to Suicide Squad focusing on the one character fans enjoyed most from that film wouldn’t be a bad thing. Hodson is also working on a Batgirl screenplay, and — while it’s been rumored that Barbara Gordon will not appear as Batgirl in Birds of Prey — should the film take off, it could conceivably cross over with a Batgirl flick and launch a Hodson Cinematic Universe, giving Black Canary and Huntress the chance to step into the spotlight down the line.
Birds of Prey is scheduled for release on February 7, 2020.
After splitting up with The Joker, Harley Quinn and three other female superheroes – Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya – come together to save the life of a little girl (Cassandra Cain) from an evil crime lord.
Directed by Cathy Yan, Birds of Prey stars Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Ewan McGregor.