Good luck Gotham City, it looks like you're going to need it. In the just-released Warner Bros trailer for Birds of Prey And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn,Margot Robbie returns to Bruce Wayne's hometown as Harley Quinn, the volatile vixen of vivacity who made the leap from the pages of DC Comics to Hollywood's big screen in Suicide Squad 2016. That $175 million PG-13 film piled up $747 million in worldwide box office due in large part to Robbie's bawdy, wild-child performance — the new film will try pushing even further into edgy material with a R-rating.
The “emancipation” in the eccentric and elongated title is a nod to Harley's relationship status after parting ways with her bad-boy boyfriend, the Joker as played with pervy menace by Jared Leto in Suicide Squad. But being single isn't the same as being alone, especially when you've got friends like the Birds of Prey. That's the name for the “girl gang” that teams Harley withthe Huntress Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Black Canary Jurnee Smollet-Bell.
The trio will clash with Ewan McGregor as the mysterious and ruthless crime boss called the Black Mask. The cast also includes Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, and Chris Messina as Victor Zsaz.Now in post-production, Birds of Preywas directed by Cathy Yan and due in theaters on Feb. 7.
The trailer's release is part of a huge week for Gotham City characters. This past Sunday night, Pennyworth starring Jack Bannon as Batman's future butler closed out its first season on Epix. This Thursday, the highly anticipated Jokerhits theaters and is widely considered a major Oscar contender. Next Sunday, the new R-rated Harley Quinn television series starring Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theorywill get a special preview at New York Comic Con. That same night, Batwoman premieres on The CW. This year also marks the 80th anniversary of Batman.
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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.
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below: