Margot Robbie‘s performance as Harley Quinn in David Ayer‘s Suicide Squad was one of the film’s stand-outs, so much so that the actor and her character were expected to be setting up a spin-off film. That project, written by screenwriter Christina Hodson and centering on the “Birds of Prey” storyline, would feature Harley Quinn and, on the heroic side, presumably team up Black Canary and Oracle; there’s also the possibility of incorporating Katana and Huntress, if it follows the comics. However, today’s big news from the world of DC Comics and Warner Bros. goes in another direction entirely.
THR reports that Robbie and Ayer will team up again for Gotham City Sirens, an all-female DC villains movie that will feature Robbie’s Harley Quinn likely alongside femme fatales Poison Ivy and Catwoman. Whether this project is in addition to the “Birds of Prey” movie or whether the two ideas will be combined into one movie is not entirely clear, though I do love the idea of a team of female superheroes clashing with DC Comics’ most iconic and famous female supervillains. It’s also being reported that screenwriter Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Tomb Raider) is writing the screenplay, so perhaps this is a wholly separate feature.
Ayer stays in supervillain mode as both director and producer on Gotham City Sirens. DC’ Geoff Johns and Jon Berg will also act as producers. The movie will be adapted from the relatively recent DC Comics’ run that started back in 2009 and centered on Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman. Those stories found the villainous trio flush with cash after Catwoman managed to steal all of Bruce Wayne’s money; the downside is that she had recently had her heart cut out by the vicious Hush. (Comic books!) The three anti-heroines unite to watch each others’ backs as they come up against reformed criminals, villains disguised as heroes, and many other notable names from the Batman lore.
As cool as this news is, the decision to keep Ayer onboard for an all-female film is a strange one as far as I’m concerned. The poor writing for, and obvious exploitation of, the female characters in Suicide Squad held the movie back from being something greater. While that certainly doesn’t all lay at Ayer’s feet, the lion’s share of it does, so hopefully some lessons were learned that can be applied to Gotham City Sirens going forward. That’s assuming GCS will actually be empowering and not simply a two-hour display of eye candy instead. If you were to judge a (comic) book by its cover, you’d be right in assuming the latter. Here’s hoping the movie can actually elevate the source material beyond sexploitation. I’m sure you have some thoughts on it so feel free to share them in the comments!
Keep an eye and ear out for news on this project, the status of the Birds of Prey film, and Warner Bros.’ plans for a standalone Deadshot movie with Will Smith sometime in the future.