Three years ago the DCEU was in a very different place, but one thing was for sure about the up-and-coming Suicide Squad movie, it would lead to more. Margot Robbie was thrust into the role of Harley Quinn in what might be one of the best bits of casting in modern comic book movies, and she takes her position seriously. In fact the whole reason that the Birds of Prey movie is happening can be attributed to both her and her extensive comic book research (plus personal feelings about the character).
Robbie confirmed this when ComicBook.com visited the set of the upcoming film earlier this year, revealing her lengthy comic book research for the role when first preparing for the part and even after they knew the plan was to make Birds of Prey.
"I first actually pitched the notion (of Birds of Prey) when we were actually still shooting Suicide Squad," Robbie said in a group Q&A. "Because I kept saying Harley does so much better when she has people to play with. And I had kept thinking that in real life I have such a girl gang, like my group of girlfriends, and I was like, I just want Harley to have a girl gang. I just want there to be a girl gang for Harley to be a part of. And then, obviously, I'd been reading a ton of the comics, anything involving Harley. And one of the separate line of comics is The Birds of Prey, which I started reading. And Harley's not a traditional member of the Birds of Prey, but it was a fun kind of girl gang to kind of dip in and out of, I suppose."
Robbie went on to reveal that specific moments from these comics struck a chord with her (though which ones specifically she wouldn't reveal), though she made sure to reveal that one character got the ball rolling about her ideas for the film: Huntress, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the movie.
"It really started with Huntress," Robbie revealed. "I just loved Huntress and with my initial kind of pitch on the story, I said I wanted to keep it quite contained and kind of get no bigger, no world-ending stakes. Like the stakes were as big as perhaps mafia level, or gang level. And that's when I started reading a lot of Huntress comics, obviously coming from a mafia family, and found her story. Plus, I do often gravitate towards a revenge story because it is so straightforward, you are so clearly motivated, so I find myself getting on board with that mindset quite quickly. Then, after Huntress, it kind of fleshed out from there which other members counterbalance her revenge story. Harley's version of what's right and wrong, that's how you kind of needed a more moral character like Renee Montoya. You kind of needed like a cop in there. Canary obviously is so crucial to the Birds of Prey. Really wanted to introduce her as well."
The Birds of Prey movie dug even deeper for some of its comic book characters, which will also include the likes of Ella Jay Basco as a pre-Batgirl Cassandra Cain and Batman villains Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) and Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina), plus traditional BOP members like Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Dinah Lance aka Black Canary.
You can find out more about our visit to the set of Birds of Prey by clicking here.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is scheduled to open in theaters on February 7, 2020