The moment DC fans have been waiting for has officially arrived, as Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) arrives in theaters. The film, which is the latest entry into the DC Extended Universe franchise, simultaneously showcased the ongoing adventures of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), while providing the big-screen debut of some beloved heroines. For those who are familiar with Birds of Prey's source material, one question has loomed over the film -- is there an appearance or reference from one of its founding members, Barbara Gordon? Now that the film is in theaters, we officially have our answer. Major spoilers for Birds of Prey below! Only look if you want to know!
Over the course of Birds of Prey, audiences are introduced to two of the characters who are most-frequently associated with the team in the comics -- Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). If you were hoping to see Dinah and Helena interact with the final part of their triumvirate in the comics, you might have to wait a little bit longer, because Barbara does not make an appearance in the film, and is not alluded to in any way.
While this will probably be a disappointing notion for those who are eager to see Barbara on the big screen - as either the vigilante Batgirl or the elusive hacker Oracle - it makes sense within the context of the film. To an extent, Dinah, Helena, and the film's other female characters are reluctantly brought together under a weird array of circumstances, after it becomes clear that Roman Sionis/Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) will kill them by any means necessary. The Birds of Prey don't become officially established until the film's closing moments, in a sequence that reveals that Dinah, Helena, and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) are using their resources from the Bertinelli diamond to fund their new operation.
Sure, Barbara Gordon might not have been there from the very first second that the team is formed, but there's certainly an avenue for her to join the group - and get them to their full potential - down the line.
"It's more of an origin story for the Birds of Prey and how this version of the group might come together," Margot Robbie, who stars in the film as Harley Quinn, explained during a visit to the film's set last year. "In the future, it could be built out into the more traditional groupings, perhaps, or different versions, because people come in and out of the Birds of Prey."
And of course, Barbara is expected to come to the big screen in her own way in a Batgirl solo film, which is being penned by Birds screenwriter Christina Hodson.
"Oh I'm just super excited about it," Hodson told ComicBook.com in 2018. "I can say so little about this one, but I can tell you I'm having so much fun writing her. She is such a great character and so different than Harley. Yeah, I'm having a blast, and I can't tell you any of the things that I'm doing! I'm just excited for her to be holding her own against all the other superheroes."
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is in theaters now. Other upcoming DC movies include Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, Black Adam on December 22, 2021, Shazam! 2 on April 1, 2022, The Flash on July 1, 2022, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.