In the pantheon of comic book characters, Harley Quinn is relatively new, but she’s wasted no time skyrocketing to the top as one of the most popular characters in the DC Comics lineup. Warner Bros. introduced her to their cinematic universe back in 2016’s Suicide Squad and have since made it abundantly clear that Harley is a top priority for the studio moving forward. They’ve developed a number of potential spinoff projects for the character in the subsequent years, including a Joker/Harley film and a possible Gotham City Sirens movie with Suicide Squad director David Ayer, but the one that looks poised to take off is the Robbie-produced Birds of Prey movie.
Warner Bros. recently recruited Dead Pigs director Cathy Yan to helm the project, and with Robbie’s noir thriller Terminal arriving in theaters, I sat down with the actress for a chat earlier today and took the opportunity to ask about how her vision for the Harley Quinn movie lined up with Yan’s.
Robbie noted that she’s spent three years on the project now, having first pitched it while they were filming Suicide Squad back in 2015, and she’s always had a clear vision for it.
“I pitched the idea of an R-rated girl gang film including Harley, because I was like, ‘Harley needs friends.’ Harley loves interacting with people, so don’t ever make her do a standalone film. She’s got to be with other people, it should be a girl gang. I wasn’t seeing enough girl gangs on screen, especially in the action space. So that was always a big part of it.
The other element was finding a female director to take the helm, though Robbie notes the priority was always finding the right director above all. Speaking to her vision for the film, Robbie continued,
“And then of course having a female director to tell that story. And giving a female director the chance to do big budget stuff. They always get ‘Here’s the tiny little film’… I was like, ‘I love action. I love action films. I’m a girl. What, are we meant to only like a specific thing’?” So it was a hugely important to find a female director for this, if possible. But at the end of the day — male, female — the best director gets the job and Cathy was the best director.