After quite a lot of waiting, fans finally got the first trailer for Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on Tuesday. The epic trailer showcased the unlikely team-up between Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), and Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), as they go toe-to-toe with one of Gotham's most formidable crime lords, Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).
It's safe to say that Birds of Prey is shaping up to be something wholly new, in part because Harley has never been a member of the Birds of Prey in the comics. Even with key elements of the Birds being changed for this live-action debut - mainly, Barbara Gordon not being included seemingly due to plans for her to debut in her own solo movie - the first trailer showcased quite a lot of references to the comics and beyond.
So, what Easter eggs did we spot in the first Birds of Prey trailer? Read on to find out.
One of the trailer's first shots is of a faceless girl kneeling in some sort of church, which serves as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to Huntress' past. In the comics, Helena is the daughter of one of Gotham's Mafia families, and she witnesses her family being murdered by a rival mafia boss at a very young age. This event motivates her to learn how to defend herself and ultimately become a vigilante, while also continuing to be a devout Catholic.
Considering the fact that How I Met Your Mother alum Charlene Amoia is cast as Maria Bertinelli, fans have speculated that we could see a flashback to Helena's early days -- which could explain this shot in the trailer.prevnext
While Black Canary has been portrayed in a wide range of ways in the 70+ years since her debut, the notion of her being a musician is relatively recent. Brendan Fletcher and Annie Wu's Black Canary run, which was part of the DC You launch of 2015, reimagined Dinah as the frontwoman of a traveling rock band conveniently named Black Canary. Throughout the run, Dinah realized that her past as a vigilante and martial artist was creeping back up on her, and she began to come to terms with her role as a hero. While there's no telling exactly how much of that will feed into Birds of Prey, the notion that she is seemingly a singer at Black Mask's club is certainly an interesting set-up.
It's also worth mentioning Dinah's fishnet dress, which clearly feels like an homage to her costumes frequently incorporating fishnet tights in the comics.prevnext
The Canary Cry
The short glimpse of Black Canary singing also provides another surprising tease about her character -- her metahuman Canary cry. As Dinah sings, the camera briefly zooms in on a martini glass that is visibly shaking on a nearby table, something that her sonic scream would realistically cause.
Ever since the 1960s, Dinah has had a version of her "Canary cry" in the comics, a powerful sonic scream that she uses against her foes. The Canary cry has had a unique history of being adapted into live-action, as the Birds of Prey TV show and early episodes of Arrow took a more grounded approach to the superpower. The ability has been used more prominently, and in a metahuman context, in both Smallville and more recent episodes of Arrow.
While the moment might not be a full-blown example of Dinah using her powers, it's still a pretty awesome tease nonetheless.prevnext
One of the trailer's many references to Harley Quinn lore comes in the form of her unexpected new pet -- a hyena. In the comics, Harley is the proud owner of two hyenas named Bud and Lou, who she initially frees from the Gotham City Zoo after deciding to go solo. The duo have popped up in comics and television periodically in the years since, most recently as part of Harley's "supermove" in Injustice 2.
Just based off of the trailer, it seems like Harley only has one pet hyena, so it remains to be seen if Bud and Lou will be a complete unit in the film. Some have also begun to speculate that the hyena's name could be Bruce, adding a whole new layer to the Bruce Wayne/Bruce Timm Easter egg on one of Harley's costumes.prevnext
The Black Mask
While Ewan McGregor's villain never quite dons his iconic headgear in the trailer, there are multiple visual teases for what's to come. The first is in a scene of Sionis crying against a wall, which is adorned with a mural featuring a masked an unmasked figure. A slew of henchmen can also be seen wearing black masks in Harley's dance sequence (which we'll talk about in a minute).
In the comics, Sionis was a reluctant childhood friend of Bruce Wayne, who ultimately killed his parents and inherited their fortune and cosmetics company. Sionis later visits his parents' grave, where he is struck by lightning, an event that he sees as his own personal "rebirth." Sionis then smashes his father's casket to pieces, using the pieces to make his Black Mask.
While there's no telling if this exact backstory will be in Birds, it certainly feels out-of-the-box and dramatic enough to work within the context of the film.prevnext
Sionis' right-hand man in the film is none other than Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina), who is arguably one of the most eccentric Batman villains to hit comics in recent years. While fans had seen snippets and set photos of Messina in character, the trailer showcases one key feature of his villain -- his scars.
In the comics, Zsasz is a serial killer who literally carves tally marks into his body for each of his victims. These can be seen in multiple shots of Zsasz in the trailer, with some tally-like scars adorning his face and neck.prevnext
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Arguably one of the most unexpected elements of the trailer is Harley's musical number, which pops up quite a bit before everything's said and done. The sequence sees Harley wearing a 1950s updo and a pink pantsuit (bless the film's costume designer, Erin Benach), while surrounded by men wearing suits and black masks. The number is clearly a modern - and violent - take on a key scene from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in which Marilyn Monroe performs the song "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend".
Since the film initially debuted in 1953, the musical number - and the pink dress Monroe wears in it - has become an iconic part of pop culture. The aesthetic of the video has been emulated in quite an array of ways, most notably in Madonna's "Material Girl" music video.prevnext
Later on in the trailer, fans get a look at yet another new Harley outfit, as she wears a wide-brimmed hat and hood while shooting at some sort of security guard. While it doesn't appear to be an exact match, the costume looks like a callback to the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Harley's Holiday". The 1994 episode revolved entirely around Harley, as she is released from Arkham Asylum, only to immediately get into a lot more trouble.
It's hard to deny that there are definitely some narrative similarities between "Harley's Holiday" and her arc in Birds of Prey, which makes this potential reference all the more fun.prevnext
If the concept of Harley's "Fantabulous Emancipation" wasn't clear enough, the trailer spells out her recent break-up from the Joker in a pretty epic way. In the shot where the film's cast is listed onscreen, Harley can be seen walking away from an exploding building -- which is none other than Ace Chemicals.
The building is pretty heavily associated with Joker and Harley's tumultuous relationship, most notably in a key scene in Suicide Squad. In it, Joker kidnaps Harley and manipulates her into falling into the vat of chemicals, which leads to her skin being bleached. Joker then takes it as a sign that Harley truly trusts him, and they share a kiss.
Given that significance (and the creepy undertones of that original scene), there's definitely something awesome about Harley destroying Ace Chemicals following her break-up with Mister J.3comments
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.prev