Birds of Prey may not have set the box office on fire, but it received good reviews from audiences and critics. One of the aspects that drew particular praise was the action scenes, which were like a cross between a gritty John Wick action montage mixed with Deadpool-style violent humor. In an interview, director Cathy Yan revealed the action was initially going to be even more out there.
"When you set an action sequence in an evidence room, it's really fun and you can come up with so much stuff. We had so many different ideas. At one point [screenwriter] Christina Hodson wanted a giant double-ended [adult toy] that [Harley] had to fend off. I wanted her to have a big fluffy bear stuffed with drugs that she used as a pillow to fight with. We had to show some sort of restraint. It's a cheeky movie - unapologetically so."
The evidence room scene is one of the highlights of the film. Harley enters the Gotham police department building in search of Cassandra Kane, the young pickpocket who had swallowed the diamond coveted by crime lord Roman Sionis. Harley wants to get Cassandra back to Sionis to square her debt to him, but first must deal with a plethora of policemen and escaped convicts who corner her and Cassandra in the evidence room.
What follows is a gloriously choreographed battle between Harley and her pursuers, as she uses bags of cocaine, outsized bats and anything else she can get her hands on to maim and destroy her enemies. The scene is already a frenetically over-the-top collection of moments of Harley inflicting severe bodily injury to her male opponent's most sensitive body parts. The sight of the anti-heroine fending off the attack of giant dildos would have only exacerbated the claims of critics that the film is filled with anti-male symbolism.
The Cathy Yan led cast and crew of Birds of Prey, as well as its supporters, have hotly contested the claim that the movie is anti-male, but the fact remains that the lack of positive male characters in the story, even Batman or Commissioner Gordon, who are closely associated with the Birds of Prey crew in the comics, led certain parts of the movie audience to react negatively.
Debates will rage on for some time whether the movie was a box office dud because it went too far, or did not go too far in depicting the twisted worldview of Harley, and its treatment of male characters. With the recent digital release of Birds of Prey, perhaps the film will see a surge in popularity and gain the honorable status of 'cult hit'.
After all, despite the film's performance, Harley remains one of DC's most popular characters. Her animated series is getting a second season, with a third season likely in the works. Also, Margot Robbie will return to the big screen as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad 2, being directed by James Gunn. Digital Spy
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.