Birds of Prey filming to start in January, says Margot Robbie
In a new interview with Flickering Myth, Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie revealed that Birds of Prey filming will begin in January, and that the R-rated girl gang movie will have a “much smaller budget” than typical DC Extended Universe superhero movies. She also told Yahoo Movies that the film will feature a diverse cast and new looks for cosplay favorite Quinn.
“The costumes haven’t been designed yet but yes she’ll have new looks,” Robbie confirmed. “There will be new Halloween costumes out there, one day.”
Robbie is also a producer on Birds of Prey, and has said she does not think Quinn should have a standalone film, preferring the character to have a group to play off of. She explained to Fandom the dynamic she’s trying to create with her DC girl gang…
“I will say that there are a lot of unexplored DC female characters who are unique and complicated and dark and funny and exciting — and not just for their superpowers,” said Robbie. “Actually, the ones that excite me most don’t have superpowers at all but they have, you know, pretty great backstories and all could kind of live in the world with Harley and create this cool dynamic. Because I don’t think girl groups… I mean all my girlfriends, we’re a huge girl gang and we’re not all the same person, everyone’s very different. I guess I was really trying to put that on screen — the way we exist in everyday life as a big girl gang. Why can’t we watch that in films more?”
Warner Bros. tapped female director Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) to direct the Birds of Prey film. She will be the first female Asian director to helm a superhero film.
The Birds of Prey-style project was initially announced ahead of the release of Suicide Squad in summer 2016, with Warner Bros. developing the film with Robbie’s Harley Quinn as the villain and featuring a number of female DC characters, with the likes of Batgirl and the Birds of Prey reportedly also in the mix for the film. The script was penned by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee), who was recently announced to take over scripting duties on DC’s Batgirl solo movie after Joss Whedon’s departure.
Robbie herself was the springboard for the project, having fallen for the pantheon of DC’s female characters in her extensive research for the role of Harley Quinn. The Birds of Prey project will now apparently take priority as the next film to feature the popular Quinn character, with production expected to begin by the end of 2018 or early 2019. A Suicide Squad sequel to be directed by Gavin O’Connor is also in active development, but Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s Harley Quinn Vs The Joker romance movie and David Ayer’s Gotham City Sirens now appear to be on the backburner.
Robbie will head to Birds of Prey right after completing work on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. She will produce via her LuckyChap banner alongside Sue Kroll of Kroll & Co Entertainment and Bryan Unkeless of Clubhouse Pictures.
The Birds of Prey are a mostly female superhero team whose ranks in the DC source material has included Oracle/Batgirl, Black Canary, Huntress, Catwoman, Hawkgirl, Power Girl, Poison Ivy, Vixen, and Katana (Karen Fukuhara), who appeared opposite Harley in Suicide Squad. A short-lived live action TV series titled Birds of Prey aired on The WB from 2002-to-2003 for 13 episodes, and starred Ashley Scott as Huntress, Dina Meyer as Barbara Gordon/Oracle, Ian Abercrombie as Alfred Pennyworth and Mia Sara as Harley Quinn.