Warner Bros. had high hopes for Birds of Prey. While Suicide Squad might have been a critical disappointment, it made a bunch of money, with many agreeing that Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was the breakout character. So, why not make a movie with her at the core, bringing together a group of the DC Universe’s most badass female superheroes in an explicitly feminist action romp? From there, it should be just a hop, skip and a jump to Birds of Prey 2, right?
Sadly, audiences just didn’t show up. Some argue its release at the very beginning of the Coronavirus panic didn’t do it any favors as its theatrical run ended early and audiences may have been wary of large crowds. My theory though is that it’s just because it’s not a very good movie. I checked it out when it hit VOD and found a weirdly structureless tale with iffy action sequences that never found its footing.
Whatever the reason, its failure has apparently put the brakes on plans for a sequel. Giant Freakin Robot is reporting that their source at Warner Bros. told them the following:
“Warners no longer believes in the concept or in the creative team behind the movie.”
In addition, Harley Quinn’s role in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is also reportedly being revised, downgrading her from the lead character to a member of the ensemble. I find that a little more difficult to believe, if only because I doubt it’s so easy to push James Gunn around. Whatever the case, it seems that this particular strand of the DCEU has come to an unexpectedly early end.
Fortunately for us, there’s the absolutely incredible Harley Quinn animated series over on DC Universe (and eventually HBO Max). The show is obviously influenced by Margot Robbie’s take on the character, but develops her way beyond what we’ve seen on the big screen. Honestly, if you’re at all into Batman it’s a must-watch.