The Wrap is reporting that the Harley Quinn-flavored Birds of Prey treatment, one of two separate scripts at one time reported to be in development for DC’s rotating cast of heroines, is coalescing around a quartet of familiar names: Huntress, Black Canary, Renee Montoya, and Cassandra Cain.
The same report also reveals that the still-untitled movie’s big bad will be “a Batman comics villain who has never before appeared on the big screen.” Robbie, the DCEU’s resident Harley Quinn since putting her memorable spin on the character for 2016’s Suicide Squad, is both producing and starring in the Cathy Yan-directed, Christina Hodson-scripted film.
The new report makes no mention of whether (or how) Batgirl might figure into the Harley Quinn version of Birds of Prey. Earlier reports had pegged both Batgirl and Harley Quinn as the two common characters that anchored a pair of separate, parallel scripts in development, though details at the time were (and still are) scarce.
If the new report is correct, though, at least the Batman lore-verse will be represented in Birds of Prey in the character of Renee Montoya, who first showed up in Batman: The Animated Series. A jaded former Gotham City detective who quit the force in resignation over its intractable corruption, she helped further broaden Batman’s palette of diverse characters as the franchise turned the corner into the early 1990s.
Where this development news leaves the fate of the other reported Birds of Prey-involved project remains to be seen. With little noise from DC since news made the rounds in April that we could end up with two separate appearances from Birds of Prey, it’s easy to assume that this, the Margot Robbie version, is the only one we’ll be getting.
Then again, DC has demonstrated of late that it’s not afraid of seeing double when it comes to green-lighting parallel character projects, as is the case with the two in-development Joker movies starring Joaquin Phoenix (in a non-DCEU origin story) and Jared Leto (in a mainline DCEU version). Hodson is also scripting DC’s Batgirl project, so we’ll have to wait and see whether that movie, like the comics, lets the Bat-verse and the Birds of Prey roost together, at last, on one big screen.