Cathy Yan made history as the first woman of color to direct a major superhero film when she took over the reins of the Warner Bros. production Birds of Prey. During a recent interview with, Yan revealed the one scene in the R-rated film that she had to actively fight to keep, when the main villain Roman Sionis mistakes a random woman's laughter inside his club as being directed at him, and forces the woman to strip in front of everyone as payback.
"I'll be honest: We had to fight to keep that scene because it was uncomfortable. It was risky, and we had to fight to keep it at all. There are cuts of the movie without it. I think it's a huge turning point for Roman; it's a huge turning point for Canary, and the way that we shot it was hopefully not about the sexual violence upon the woman. It was more about Roman, what he's capable of and Canary seeing him for who he really is for the first time. Now, she can fully cut herself off from him, and I thought it was a really important scene. So, we fought for it."
The scene is the first time that viewers, who had so far seen Sionis in his element as a powerful Gotham mob boss, got to see the character reveal a chink in his armor, which is his fear of not being respected by those around him. The woman's laughter triggers this complex, and Sionis goes way over the top in exacting his revenge, mirroring his final act of turning the city into a war zone in order to ensure Harley and her cohorts don't thwart his will in keeping the Bertinelli diamond out of his grasp.
As Cathy Yan mentioned, the scene was also a catalyst for Dinah Lance to walk away from Sionis's employ and strike out on her own, which paved the way for her joining the Birds of Prey. But as important as the scene was, it was also hard to stomach for many audience members, as the woman, who is clearly terrified, is forced out of her dress in front of everyone else at the club.
The scene is a sharp departure from the rest of the film, which seems to go out of its way to emphasize a consequence-free air to the violence surrounding Harley and the other heroines. Harley Quinn herself is shot at and bombed with no seeming impact on her well being. Henchmen are brutally injured for laughs in a manner reminiscent of Deadpool, and the tragedies surrounding the various superheroines are only fleetingly touched on.
The disappointing box office results for the film mean the chances for any potential sequels are pretty close to zero. But Harley herself will next be seen in the sequel to Suicide Squad, which has been directed by James Gunn and is scheduled to be released on August 6, 2021. This comes from The Hollywood Reporter.
Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan already has ideas for a sequel. Although a direct Birds of Prey follow-up has not yet officially been confirmed, Yan has already started plotting out where she would take Harley Quinn on her next adventures — and with whom. And that character will be very familiar to longtime fans of Harley Quinn in both her animated and comic book forms.
In an interview with The Wrap, Cathy Yan said that if she were to direct a Birds of Prey sequel, she would focus on the fan-favorite dynamic of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy:
“I would love to see Poison Ivy and I would certainly love to see the relationship between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.”
A Harley and Poison Ivy romance — or at least a criminal team-up — seems to be on everyone’s minds, as Margot Robbie also recently said that she has also been pushing for the eco-friendly supervillain to appear alongside her Harley Quinn. “One [character] been pushing for as long as I’ve been pushing for this film is Poison Ivy,” Robbie told /Film. “I mean, there’s two versions of that, you know, with some comics, it’s friendship, some comics, it’s romantic. Either way, I want to explore that because I just I love their relationship so much in the comics.”
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have long been paired together, first becoming partners in crime in Batman: The Animated Series during one of Harley’s breaks with the Joker. Their gleeful chemistry and Thelma and Louise-inspired dynamic in the animated series became so popular that their friendship was soon integrated into the comics. Harley and Ivy would appear as allies and maybe more in the comics and more animated shows, but their romantic relationship only became canon recently, becoming official in 2015. The second season of DC Universe’s animated Harley Quinn series, in which Poison Ivy is a recurring character and Harley’s sardonic best friend, will see Ivy finally become Harley’s romantic partner.
A Birds of Prey sequel is still unconfirmed, but Yan doesn’t dismiss the possibility, despite the film’s somewhat disappointing box office returns. “I think people aren’t ready to let go of Harley Quinn quite yet and you know, Margot I don’t think is ready to let go of Harley Quinn yet either,” she said.