Despite a decent critical response, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) has so far not enjoyed a good opening weekend at the box office. Indeed, the DCEU movie is on track to have the worst opening in the Warner Bros. franchise to date. All this seems unfair, considering that Birds of Prey is a pretty decent entry in the series, with one of its strong points being Ewan McGregor’s Roman Sionis, aka Black Mask, as a villain. But what most people seem to forget is that Black Mask was actually teased as far back as Justice League.
In the 2017 pic, we get a shot, available below, of Gotham City that contains the logo for “Janus,” a previously unexplained company in the DCEU. Thanks to Birds of Prey, however, we now know that this is the family business of McGregor’s character, and one that specializes in cosmetics. As the film shows, Sionis is determined to carve his own identity as a crime boss that’s independent of his wealthy family, and doesn’t take too kindly to anyone who suggests otherwise.
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Birds of Prey is Black Mask’s first cinematic appearance, although the character was alluded to in Gotham and has made appearances in DC’s animated universe. During the development of Birds of Prey, there was also some controversy over whether McGregor’s character is gay or bisexual, something that the actor himself has more or less addressed when asked about the sexuality of Sionis.
Of course, these brief teases are nothing new, and Birds of Prey fans have already spotted Easter Eggs for future DCEU movies, including Harley Quinn’s return in The Suicide Squad. Furthermore, we get a nod by Harley to one of the other members of Task Force X, again setting up the James Gunn-directed picture. What is perhaps more refreshing about Birds of Prey, though, is how it works just as well as a standalone film, albeit one with an extended prologue explaining Harley’s origin story. Here’s hoping the box office picks up and the movie gets appreciated by a wider audience.