It’s been a long time coming, but DC Comics is finally bringing our favorite female superhero team to the big screen. Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn) hits theaters February 7, 2020.
That date may seem way far away, but we’ve got some tasty teasers that will have you counting down. There aren’t many DC releases slated between now and its release date (look out for Aquaman soon, although we’re predicting a flop), given that Henry Cavill is no longer playing Superman.
Who are the Birds of Prey?
The Birds of Prey are an established superhero fighting team comprised solely of female characters. While its roster has changed dramatically throughout the years, the most common members of the team are Black Canary, Huntress, Oracle, and Batgirl (the latter two are often the same character with different code names). Harley Quinn is not a member of the team, which is why her name is separate.
Harley Quinn (reprised by actress Margot Robbie following Suicide Squad) will play a major role in the film. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jurnee Smollett-Bell will also play lead roles as Huntress and Black Canary, respectively. The three represent the flick’s primary trio.
While Batgirl appears in the most recent Birds of Prey comics, there’s no reason to assume she’ll make a cameo in the film. However, it’s possible she’ll join the ladies down the road.
Who’s responsible for the film’s screenplay?
Christina Hodson will pen the screenplay for Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn). Hodson will also write the upcoming Batgirl film. A relative newcomer, Hodson’s other credits include the Transformers spinoff, Bumblebee, which releases December 21, 2018 and stars Hailee Steinfeld.
“I‘m a big DC fan,” Hodson told io9 in a recent interview. “Batman has always been my number one superhero. Forget everyone else, it was Batman.”
“Really I’ve become more of a DC fan as I’ve gotten to enter this universe through Margot Robbie,” she continued. “I will always be grateful to Margot for bringing me into this universe. We started working on Birds of Prey about three years ago and I just did a deep, deep dive. I just read everything and became a big fan of the comics. It was really fun getting to know all of these characters. There’s so many different timelines.
“So many different versions of these characters in different iterations, and getting to know them, getting to see the through lines—where they stay the same, when they change. I just fell in love,” Hodson finished.
It’s exciting to see a writer with passion for source material. Unlike many other recent iterations of superhero characters, it seems Hodson’s takes will actually include respect for their storied histories.
Who else has been cast?
The full cast for Birds of Prey has been released, though not all of the characters have been named (for surprises, of course).
Rosie Perez will play Renee Montoya. In the comics, Montoya is a Gotham City cop who eventually becomes a vigilante as the second incarnation of The Question. This vigilante is basically just a detective with a mask.
Steven Williams (The Chi), Derek Wilson (Preacher), Dana Lee (Dr. Ken), Francois Chau (The Expanse), and Matthew Willig (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs) have also joined the project, but their characters are being kept secret for the time being.
Who are the villains?
Ewan McGregor (Beauty and the Beast, Christopher Robin) has been cast as the Black Mask, aka Roman Sionis, the film’s top villain. Black Mask is usually depicted as a ruthless Gotham City crime lord with a mask fixation. He takes pleasure in torturing others and is one of Batman’s longest standing enemies.
Chris Messina (The Mindy Project, Sharp Objects, Argo) has been tapped to play Victor Zsasz, a sadistic serial killer who carves a mark into his body for every life he takes. Anthony Carrigan, who plays Zsasz on the Fox drama Gotham, will also appear.
The two will likely work together, causing such mischief that Harley puts her villainous ways aside to help Huntress and Black Canary save Gotham City.
I don’t know about you, but I’m stoked to see these ladies race into action to save Gotham.