Warner Bros. has experienced its fair share of downs with its DC properties in recent years. You could even call it a confusing mess with no cohesive vision, and I say that as someone who appreciates dumb misfires more than most. Joaquin Phoenix is getting a Joker movie that won’t be a part of their extended universe, but Jared Leto will also be reprising his role as Joker in standalone movies. Furthermore, the franchise seems to have lost its Superman, which means they’ll be looking to cast a replacement for Henry Cavill. Like I said, it’s a mess.
That said, there’s always a silver lining to every weird situation. And to give DC some credit where it’s due, their movies have done right by its superheroines. I’d even go as far to say that there’s some hope left for the franchise because of this. Wonder Woman has emerged as the new champion of DC Comics movies, and her first big-screen solo outing showed that they could produce movies that were on par with their MCU nemeses.
However, even before Patty Jenkins unleashed her opus, the DCEU had another sparkling heroine in the form of Harley Quinn. She was just being wasted in bad movies like Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie’s performance as the psychiatrist-turned-bad-guy was a beacon of light amid the darkness and made the whole experience not feel entirely pointless. Do we need more Suicide Squad movies? Probably not. But more movies with Robbie as Quinn would be a way to go.
Fortunately, that’s happening. A Birds of Prey movie, which revolves around the eponymous gang of female crusaders, has been fast-tracked into production. Robbie will reprise her role as Quinn, and her character will team up with Black Canary, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, and Renee Montoya against the evil Black Mask.
Since the announcement, fans have been speculating about who will star alongside Robbie. Well, the project is finally starting to take shape and the titular team is two steps closer to completion. According to Variety, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jurnee Smollett-Bell have joined the spinoff, with Winstead playing Huntress and Smollett-Bell taking on the role of Black Canary. Cathy Yan is set to direct the movie from a script that was co-written by Bumblebee scribe Christina Hodson. Production will begin at the start of next year, with the movie scheduled to hit theaters in February 2020.
This is a step in the right direction for DC. Winstead is a formidable talent who’s proven herself adept at tackling a variety of roles throughout her career. But in a career that’s mostly been synonymous with low-key dramas and thrillers, such a prominent role in a big blockbuster action movie of this size has eluded her until now. Huntress will finally add ass-kicking crusader to her resume and she’ll knock it out of the park.
Likewise, this is new ground for Smollett-Bell, whose previous work has mainly consisted of dramatic and comedic turns. Birds of Prey will showcase a new side to the actress and, given the magnitude of this project rise, her Hollywood stock will rise big time. In the meantime, we can look forward to seeing her in the Jordan Peele-produced Lovecraft Country next year.
Heading into the future, Harley Quinn will be a major focus of the DCEU. But if this movie is successful, she’ll hopefully have some other strong women joining her and then moving forward as major players themselves.