Birds of Prey's Margot Robbie on the Responsibility of Adapting Beloved Source Material

For comic book fans - and really, fans of any book or other form of entertainment - adapting characters and stories from page to screen can be a bit of a mixed bag. There's the excitement that something they love gets to come to life in a new way, but there's also the concern that the people putting it together may not approach the source material with the kind of reverence that they would hope for. It's that fan expectation and the responsibility in how beloved source material is adapted that Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) star Margo Robbie took very seriously in part because she was once that fan herself.

Speaking with Variety, Robbie explained that her own experiences as a Harry Potter fan helped her understand how Harley Quinn and Birds of Prey fans might feel about their beloved characters coming to life in the film.

"The way I feel about Harry Potter, or you feel about Harry Potter, is how some people feel about these comics," Robbie explained. "I was 10-years-old following exactly who they were casting for Hermione Granger. It meant so much to me. And when I heard Emma Watson as a kid saying, 'I love the Harry Potter books,' I was honestly so happy. Hermione Granger loves the books! That’s all I really wanted."

She went on explain that because of her experience, she insisted that those working on the film took the time to read the comics because of the "huge responsibility" they had to fans.

"And so, even if people aren't a fan of the comics to begin with, I've said it to everyone on this job: 'Start reading them. You owe it to the fans to respect the source material. Because they adore the source material, and we are so lucky to be bringing that source material to life in a different way. And we have a huge responsibility to them - the way you would want someone to care that much if it was something that you deeply cared about,'" Robbie said. "So go to Comic-Con and play a clip and feel their reaction every time it was something that I know from the comics - like, they'd see Ace Chemicals, and they'd scream. Or they'd see Canary do her cry, and they'd just go ballistic. Or they'd see the Hyena - all those little things, that I was just so happy that they were happy to see. Because it makes me happy too."


Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) stars Margot Robbie, reprising her role as Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad. The movie also introduces Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, and Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, the founding members of the girl gang-like vigilante team called the Birds of Prey. Rosie Perez also stars as Gotham City Detective Renee Montoya. Ewan MacGregor and Chris Messina play the villains Black Mask and Victor Zsasz, respectively. Cathy Han is directing the film. Christina Hodson wrote the script.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) lands in theaters on February 7th.