Birds of Prey Screenwriter Says Margot Robbie Wanted a "Harley Quinn Plus Girls" Story

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) will bring a pretty unique team-up onto the big screen next year, as Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) has not previously been a member of the group in the comics. As the film's screenwriter, Christina Hodson, revealed in a recent interview with Total Film (via GamesRadar), the unpredictability of the film's ensemble came about in a very specific way. Hodson explained that Robbie, who also serves as a producer on the film, was drawn to telling the story to give her Harley more female characters to interact with.

“Margot knew she wanted to tell a ‘Harley Quinn plus girls’ story,” Hodson explained. “That was kind of where she began with it. She knew she wanted a girl gang. She wanted Harley to have friends.”

“[Margot] had naturally gravitated towards the Birds of Prey”, Hodson continued. “She’s a comic-book fan. Obviously, you know, it’s not a traditional team-up. So then it was about finding fun, inventive ways of doing that. Warners were very supportive in terms of letting me go off-leash.”

For those who have been following the project in its multi-year trek to the big screen, this probably isn't that big of a surprise, as Robbie has previously stated her desire to have Harley surrounded by other female characters.

“I pitched the idea of 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," Robbie said in a 2018 interview. "She’s got to be with other people, it should be a girl gang. I wasn’t seeing enough girl gangs on screen, especially in the action space. So that was always a big part of it."

Birds of Prey will see Harley joining forces with some of DC's most beloved female characters, including Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez). Hodson also argued that the film is essentially a standalone entry from Robbie's role in the Suicide Squad films (even as rumors are already swirling that Warner Bros. is interested in a trilogy featuring the Birds of Prey and the Gotham City Sirens).

"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," Hodson added. "I just tried to take myself off-leash. I fell in love with this character, and then all of these other new characters. And 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."

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Upcoming DC movies include Joker on October 4th, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.