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SYFY WIRE Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Look out, Joker: Birds of Prey becomes first mainstream DCEU film to land R-rating

By Josh Weiss
Margot Robbie Birds of Prey

The hyena-filled hijinks of Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) in Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey film won't be suitable for anyone under the age of 18, folks. According to, the female-led Suicide Squad spinoff has been given an R-rating "for strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material." 

This marks the very first R-rating given to a mainstream DCEU project. We know what you're thinking, but Todd Phillips' Joker is not part of Warner Bros.' DC cinematic universe (and not really a superhero-type movie any way). That project was very much a standalone story that intentionally had no interest in crossing over to any other superhero movies released by the studio.

Nevertheless, it looks as if Joker and Deadpool have finally convinced studios and producers that an R-rating can still lead to stellar returns at the box office. Joker, for instance, recently surpassed $1 billion globally and became the highest-grossing R-rated film in cinematic history. It also nabbed four major Golden Globe nominations. Maybe this means Todd McFarlane will finally get the funding for his brutally horrific and long-gestating Spawn reboot.

Written by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee), Birds of Prey finds Harley breaking up with the Joker and setting out on a mission to protect young Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) from Gotham's most feared crime lord, Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). To that end, Quinn recruits some help in the form of Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).

Rosie Perez, Ali Wong, and Chris Messina co-star.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) flies into theaters February 7, 2020.