How Birds Of Prey Sets Up Harley’s Return In The Suicide Squad

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Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) may be experiencing an opening weekend that falls short of initial expectations, but the film is being reviewed well and boasts scores north of the 80% range on Rotten Tomatoes, and the future of the pic’s title character is already secure. Psychiatrist-turned-villain-turned-vigilante Harleen Quinzel is set to appear in next year’s The Suicide Squad, James Gunn’s standalone sequel to David Ayer’s 2016 film Suicide Squad, which Birds of Prey itself spun out of.

In many ways, Cathy Yan’s all-female team-up movie sets the stage for Harley’s return and serves as a narrative footbridge to The Suicide Squad. Most obviously, the movie includes an overt Easter egg in the form of a wanted poster featuring Courtney’s Captain Boomerang, who Harley recognizes from her time working with him on Task Force X. Though Harkness was confined to the Belle Reve Special Security Barracks last we heard, he was likely one of several inmates who escaped during the chaos of the prison break that Joker staged to extricate Harley.

Speaking of the Clown Prince of Crime, he appears in Birds of Prey only by way of archival footage and a body double, as he ends his turbulent relationship with Quinn in the film’s opening minutes. This sets Harley along the road to self-possession as she seizes agency over her life, refusing to continue playing a harlequin whose only “role is to serve.” As a result, she’ll have developed into a markedly different character by the time of The Suicide Squad than she was during Suicide Squad, and will therefore undoubtedly play a decidedly different role in that next story. Never one to obey authority, her newfound rejection of the very idea of having “a master” will drastically alter her dynamic with Task Force X director Waller.

How Harley (or Harkness, for that matter) will find herself once more drawn into Waller’s machinations remains to be seen, and whether or not we ever get a direct sequel to Birds of Prey will depend on the pic’s long-term profitability, though DC Films seems content for the moment to shuffle its existing characters through various ensemble projects. A potential Gotham City Sirens movie, for example, has been in development for more than three years with Ayer attached to direct and is currently on hold, and would feature the triumvirate of Harley Quinn, Catwoman (who’s scheduled to appear in Matt Reeves’ The Batman as played by Zoë Kravitz) and Poison Ivy joining forces.

Meanwhile, Birds of Prey, featuring the freshly uncommitted Harley Quinn leading a squad all her own against the sadistic underbelly of Gotham City, can be seen in theaters now.

Source: ScreenRant

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