Exclusive: Birds of Prey screenwriter teases DC movie: "It’s not a traditional team-up"

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Although we may still be a few weeks away from the Joker movie finally reaching cinemas, fans are eagerly awaiting another DC movie: Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). The latest wild card from Warner Bros. comic-book stable sees Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) jettison her Suicide Squad to team up with a new girl gang, including Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Huntress and Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s Black Canary. 

“Margot knew she wanted to tell a ‘Harley Quinn plus girls’ story,” screenwriter Christina Hodson tells our sister publication Total Film in their latest issue. “That was kind of where she began with it. She knew she wanted a girl gang. She wanted Harley to have friends.”

Producer/star Robbie met with Hodson four years ago (before Suicide Squad had even opened) to start thrashing out ideas, and Robbie “had naturally gravitated towards the Birds of Prey”, explains Hodson. “She’s a comic-book fan. Obviously, you know, it’s not a traditional team-up. So then it was about finding fun, inventive ways of doing that. Warners were very supportive in terms of letting me go off-leash.”

Speaking previously to Total Film, Hodson said Birds of Prey (which reaches cinemas February 2020) would be "standalone" and will stand apart from Suicide Squad. "Obviously, yes, it's a character we have met before, but it's really its own story, and that's kind of how I approached it," she said. "I just tried to take myself off-leash. I fell in love with this character, and then all of these other new characters. And I just created a brand new story that felt like its own thing, and that doesn't have to feel like it follows one or the other."

For more on Birds of Prey, as well as dozens of other movies, check out the latest issue Total Film, on shelves this Friday. If you’re a fan of Total Film, why not subscribe so that you never miss an issue, and you’ll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, like the one below, delivered directly to your doormat before the magazine hits shelves? What are you waiting for?

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Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.