Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is “a little bonkers” and reflective of the point of view of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, and more explorative of the Joker’s ex-girlfriend than David Ayer’s Suicide Squad or the James Gunn-directed The Suicide Squad. Officially described as “a twisted tale told by Harley herself, as only Harley can tell it,” Birds of Prey follows the costumed criminal after a split from clown prince of crime “Mistah J.” When Harley becomes the unlikely protector of Cassandra “Cass” Cain (Ella Jay Basco), who is targeted by narcissistic Gotham City crime lord Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor), Harley is forced to team with Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to take down Roman and vicious right-hand man Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina).
“The story in Birds of Prey is told from her point of view, so you have an insight into Harley’s world in a way that you didn’t in the first Suicide Squad film, nor that you’ll have in the next Suicide Squad film,” Robbie told Variety when promoting the Jay Roach-directed Bombshell. “It’s a little bonkers. It reflects her personality. It’s heightened. It’s poppy, it’s fun, it’s violent, it’s crazy. It’s absurd. It’s kooky. It’s hilarious. It’s a little heartbreaking.”
Screenwriter Christina Hodson previously told ComicBook.com Harley is leading lady material because she’s “so complicated and nuanced and interesting” as well as “so full of completely opposing qualities.”
“She is incredibly intelligent; she is a psychiatrist, but she's also incredibly silly and immature, and that balance between kind of sanity and madness, fun and frivolity and real intelligence, heart, was such a fun thing to be able play with,” Hodson said. “Harley takes that to the next level: she’s a little bit of everything, and to be able to write a character like that is amazing. It's such a fun set of crayons to be coloring with. So I love her, but I also love what Margot brought to that character. And working with Margot on the character and on the story for the last three years has been a dream come true really.”
In addition to putting a fresh spin on the newly liberated Harley in her second appearance in Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe, Hodson took a “deep dive” into the members of the Birds of Prey. Hodson had her own freedom to “go off-leash a little bit and do something new and different,” she said, allowing her to bring these characters to screen “in a way that felt right alongside Harley.”
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) opens February 7, 2020.