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Birds of Prey: Where Exactly Is DC Going With Its Films?

Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Today, a new subsection of Gotham City was released with the Birds of Prey trailer, featuring Margot Robbie. Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn appears to be just as mesmerizing as the last – and it should be.

Some roles are just so easy-fitting to an actor, it seems foolish to think there could have ever been anyone else to play the iconic character – some that come to mind are Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Margot Robbie is Harley Quinn, through and through. She will undoubtedly carry this film square on her shoulders with her, to what I believe, will be a pretty iconic performance, given that she is the main star, unlike the muddled Suicide Squad film where she co-starred.

The problem may lie with it’s Suicide Squad connection, however. When it comes to DC films, no one truly knows what’s going on or what’s happening next. It’s as if they have a box full of titles and ideas, and whatever gets the luck of the draw is the next film to be produced. This film is clearly connected to Suicide Squad, the trailer gives clarity to that, but it also means it’s connected to Justice League, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Man of Steel. Most of DC films, including sequels to those aforementioned, are in limbo right now.

Ben Affleck is gone as Batman, no one is sure what Henry Cavill’s status is as Superman and, thankfully, Jared Leto seems to be out as The Joker — although I wouldn’t count out a Leto Joker cameo appearance in Birds of Prey. Let’s not forget, there will be a new Batman film with Robert Pattinson that is not connected to these films and, of course, the upcoming Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix, which is also not connected. And there’s a new Suicide Squad film that could very well be a reboot of the previous storyline.

So where does Birds of Prey lie and what is it’s ultimate goal? Will it be a continuation of an ongoing DC storyline that it seems to be currently on, or will it veer off, separating itself into something all on its own like the rest of the DC films seems to be headed towards?

No one knows. And I believe that goes for Warner Bros. and DC executives as well. If the plan is to keep making solo films and franchises, then that’s what they should focus on. DC has long tried to play catchup with Marvel and in doing so has made a complete fool out of themselves, not even coming close to touching the success its competitor has on the big screen.

The potential positive with this film is that it seems very progressive. It seems to be a very feminist lead film. Of course, that could be a good or bad thing, depending on how one perceives it. It’s 2019, so your guess is as good as mine. The other positive is that with this film and the upcoming Joker film, although they are in no way connected, there’s something DC can potentially do well with – that is, have interesting villains and connect the two down the road. Marvel is very hero heavy, with usually little concentrated on the villains, which could be because they don’t have great ones. DC, on the other hand, has historically great villains. If a film like Joker and Birds of Prey can prove to be popular at the box office, then maybe DC should put all their eggs in the basket of making anti-hero films. To a degree Batman is an anti-hero, and those films are always box office draws.

So, what will a film based in Gotham City be like without Batman – one where chaos seems to be running rampant and Batman is no where to be found? That’s the part of this idea that I’m not sure will work. The trailer leaves a lot more questions than answers as far as where the DC film universe intends on going – and that could hurt the company given recent fan disapproval.