Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a title that seemed too long to be real. Fans thought Margot Robbie was just messing around when she scribbled it on the cover of the script. Robbie was deadly serious but only because the movie is not.
“It’s not a very serious movie, so we thought the title should reflect that,” Robbie said on Monday’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “Birds of Prey makes it sound very serious and then that’s kind of like Harley adding her ‘Hey, don’t worry. I’m in this, too.'”
It’s a natural reflex for comic book fans to tense up when an actor says a movie isn’t going to be serious, but irreverence is par for the course with Harley Quinn. No one’s ever counted on Harley to take anything all that serious. We can, however, probably count on Huntress and Black Canary to help ground the story a bit. If they don’t, Ewan McGregor’s Black Mask will.
Another likely reason for the title that Robbie did not cite is the fact that Harley Quinn’s name is in it. Harley was the breakout character in Suicide Squad that kept audiences coming back even when critics said to stay away. This is a very popular character and putting her name in the title ensures the movie will get all the mainstream media exposure it can.
Robbie also reiterated that production on Birds of Prey (and the Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) starts early next year. That lines up with director Cathy Yan hiring department heads. Yan has tapped Her production designer K.K. Barrett to lead the art department. As production nears, we are sure to hear additional cast and crew being added.
Starting in early 2019 will allow Birds of Prey to be ready for its February 7, 2020 release date.