Maybe I’m being a little hyperbolic with the headline, but Warner Bros. and DC Films set the internet on fire when it released a 20-second “teaser” featuring our first looks at the main cast for the upcoming Cathy Yan-directed Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), including Margot Robbie as the titular Harley, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as The Huntress, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, and Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain. Also, that cast though!
Margot Robbie actually started it off on Instagram when she posted a selfie in character as Harley Quinn. At the time, no one was expecting to see actual footage. And to be fair, the footage we got isn’t full of actual scenes from a movie (they only just started shooting for a February 2020 release).
Instead, the quick flash of images was meant to set the tone and look Yan is going for. And if it’s any indication, we’re getting a DC superhero film unlike anything that’s come before!
This isn’t the first time Warner has gone the unconventional route in hyping its next “phase” of DC movies, though. Back in September, director Todd Phillips released a haunting “camera test” of Joaquin Phoenix, giving audiences its first look at the Oscar-winning actor in full Joker regalia.
In an era of movie trailers that essentially reveal whole plot points, it’s refreshing to see clips like these that do what they’re supposed to: tease the audience into wanting to see more. I hope they keep it up!
After James Wan’s Aquaman passed The Dark Knight Rises to become the highest grossing DC movie of all time, it’s safe to say the future is (finally) looking bright (literally) again for DC heroes on the silver screen. I think the best decision the heads at DC Films has made is to trust the directors tasked with bringing each of these films to the screen. Rather than hewing to a template set by Man of Steel or BvS, directors like Patty Jenkins, James Wan, and now Cathy Yan and Todd Phillips are allowed to bring their own cinematic sensibilities to each project.
Extra special shout-out to the fact that Birds of Prey is being written and directed by women of color — specifically Asian women, Cathy Yan and Christina Hodson — and you could argue that the DCEU has surpassed the MCU in terms of diversity and inclusion behind the camera. Needless to say, I couldn’t be more excited for the future of DC FIlms!
See below for a closer look at each character in Birds of Prey.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) opens in theaters on February 7, 2020.