Batman Is MIA From Gotham in 'Birds of Prey'

While Birds of Prey is going to contain some popular characters from the streets of Gotham, it [...]

While Birds of Prey is going to contain some popular characters from the streets of Gotham, it looks as though the city's most iconic hero will be completely absent. Not that anyone really thought Batman would be in the Birds of Prey movie, but it appears that the the version of Gotham City in the film will be completely void of the Dark Knight altogether.

On Wednesday afternoon, news broke that Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Mary Elizabeth Winstead had been cast in Birds of Prey as Black Canary and Huntress, respectively. While most of the reports of this announcement didn't offer much more information, Deadline's write-up revealed the interesting news that the film would indeed take place in Gotham. It also confirmed that Batman would be out of the picture.

"They join Margot Robbie who reprises her Suicide Squad role of Harley Quinn in a Gotham that isn't protected by Batman," Deadline wrote. "The femmes will battle a crime lord who has yet to be announced."

So, the question now becomes: What happened to Batman? If the upcoming DC movies continue with the previous continuity of Suicide Squad and Justice League, it seems odd that Batman would be off the grid. Ben Affleck's take on the character is certainly alive at this point in the story, and he has revived his faith in the cape after the events of Justice League.

Given that Birds of Prey will continue the story of Harley Quinn that was started in Suicide Squad, it seems likely that a similar continuity will be used for the new film. In that continuity, it is in fact Affleck's Bruce Wayne who patrols Gotham, and who put Harley in jail. So Batfleck theoretically exists in Birds of Prey.

If that's the case, then Birds of Prey will have some explaining to do when it comes to Batman. A simple nod to the fact that he's "elsewhere" with the Justice League would probably do the trick. Then again, there's also the possibility that Birds of Prey takes place before the events of Suicide Squad, in the time where Bruce Wayne had stopped being Batman.

Either way, it looks as though Birds of Prey will be a major indication as to where the universe of live-action DC films is going in the future, and what the franchise is aiming to do with Batman.

What's your take on Batman's absence from Gotham City in Birds of Prey? Let us know in the comments!

Birds of Prey is set to hit theaters on February 7, 2020.