Birds of Prey (2020 film)

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Birds of Prey
BirdsofPreyHarley.jpg
Teaser poster
Directed byCathy Yan
Produced by
Written byChristina Hodson
Based on
Starring
Music byDaniel Pemberton
CinematographyMatthew Libatique
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • February 7, 2020 (2020-02-07) (United States)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$75–100 million[1][2]

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics team of the same name. The film is intended to be the eighth film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and a follow-up movie of 2016 film Suicide Squad, and is directed by Cathy Yan and written by Christina Hodson. The story follows Harley Quinn (portrayed by Margot Robbie) as she joins forces with Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), the Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to save Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) from Gotham City crime lord Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). Chris Messina and Ali Wong also star.

Robbie, who also serves as producer, pitched the idea for Birds of Prey to Warner Bros. Pictures in 2015. The film was announced in May 2016; Hodson was hired to write the script that November, while Yan signed on to direct in April 2018. The majority of the cast and crew were confirmed by December 2018. Principal photography lasted from January to April 2019 and took place in Downtown Los Angeles, parts of the Arts District, Los Angeles, and soundstages at Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank in Burbank, California. Additional filming took place in September 2019.

Birds of Prey is scheduled to be released in the United States on February 7, 2020, by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Premise[edit]

Since the events of Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn has left the Joker. When Roman Sionis / Black Mask, a narcissistic crime lord, places a hit on a young girl named Cassandra Cain, Gotham City turns upside down looking for her. Harley joins forces with Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya to protect the girl and to take Sionis down.[3][4][5][6]

Cast[edit]

Additionally, Charlene Amoia portrays Maria Bertinelli, the mother of Helena and the wife of Franco.[12] Talon Reid portrays one of Black Mask's henchmen.[19] Ali Wong,[20][16] Steven Williams, Derek Wilson, Dana Lee, François Chau, Matthew Willig, and Robert Catrini have been cast in undisclosed roles.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In May 2016, ahead of the release of Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. Pictures announced a spinoff film focusing on Harley Quinn and several other female DC Comics heroes and villains, such as Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. Margot Robbie was attached to reprise her role as Harley Quinn, and would also serve as producer.[7][21] British screenwriter Christina Hodson was announced to be writing the film in November.[22] Robbie pitched the film to Warner Bros. in 2015 as "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". Robbie felt it was important for the film to have a female director. While Warner Bros. and DC Films had various other Harley Quinn-oriented films in development, Birds of Prey was the only one in which Robbie was directly involved with its development.[23]

Robbie spent three years working on Birds of Prey and continued to present it to Warner Bros. until the studio felt the project was at the point it could be made.[23] By April 2018, Warner Bros. and DC Films had finalized a deal with Cathy Yan to direct, making her the first female Asian director to direct a superhero film.[24] Robbie was confirmed to be producing the film under her LuckyChap Entertainment banner, as part of a first look deal she has with the studio; Sue Kroll and Bryan Unkless were also announced to serve as producers through their companies Kroll & Co. Entertainment and Clubhouse Pictures, respectively. Production was scheduled to begin by late 2018 or early 2019.[25] The Penguin was intended to appear in the script at one point, but was dropped to preserve his debut in a Batman solo film.[26]

Pre-production[edit]

Margot Robbie in 2019

By July 2018, the film was entering pre-production.[27] Robbie confirmed the film would be titled Birds of Prey, describing it as "different" from the other DC films featuring Harley Quinn, and said it would be produced on a relatively small budget compared to other superhero films.[28][29] She also stated that Harley Quinn would receive a new costume, and teased the casting of diverse actors.[30] The line-up for the Birds of Prey team was revealed to include Black Canary, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, and Renee Montoya, with the villain set to be a Batman adversary who had not yet been seen in film.[14] Casting began in August,[31] with Warner Bros. considering a number of actresses to be cast as Huntress and Black Canary. Alexandra Daddario, Jodie Comer, Blake Lively, and Vanessa Kirby expressed interest.[32][33] Roman Sionis / Black Mask was revealed to be the film's antagonist.[34] Janelle Monáe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jurnee Smollett-Bell were under consideration for Black Canary by September, while Sofia Boutella, Margaret Qualley, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Cristin Milioti were being considered to play Huntress.[35] Justina Machado and Roberta Colindrez tested for Renee Montoya, while Warner Bros. began seeking a 12-year-old Asian actress to play Cassandra Cain.[36]

In late September, Smollett-Bell and Winstead were respectively cast as Black Canary and Huntress,[10] Warner Bros. scheduled a February 7, 2020 release date,[37] and Ewan McGregor and Sharlto Copley were under consideration for the role of Black Mask.[38] During the U.S.-China Entertainment Summit in October, Yan confirmed the cast and that the film would be R-rated. She said that she "could not put the script down, it had so much dark humor to it which a lot of my work does, and there are themes of female empowerment which are so strong and relateable".[39] Cinematographer Matthew Libatique joined the film that month,[40] as did Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya.[15] Stunt coordinator Jonathan Eusebio and fight coordinator Jon Valera joined in November[41] along with McGregor as Black Mask[17] and Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain.[4] Robbie revealed that the full title would be Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),[42] and that the subtitle reflects the humorous and unserious tone of the film.[43] Production designer K. K. Barrett joined in December,[44] as did Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz.[16] Steven Williams, Derek Wilson, Dana Lee, François Chau, Matthew Willig, Robert Catrini, and Ali Wong also joined the film's cast.[20][16]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began in Los Angeles, California in January 2019 under the working title Fox Force Five.[45][46][47] Although filming was expected to also take place in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia,[48] the entire shoot took place in Los Angeles after the production received a tax credit from the state of California.[49] Filming was expected to be completed by mid-April 2019.[50] In February, Charlene Amoia joined the cast.[12] Filming wrapped on April 15, 2019.[51]

Post-production[edit]

Jay Cassidy and Evan Schiff will serve as editors. Jedediah Smith (The OA and Ad Astra) and Fernando Zorrilla (Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Amazing Spider-Man) will serve as the overall visual effects supervisors for the film.Image Engine, Method Studios, Weta Digital, Luma Pictures and Crafty Apes will provide the visual effects for the film.[52][53][54][55]In August 2019, Chad Stahelski joined as a second unit director for reshoots.[56] Photography for the additional footage began on September 3, 2019.[57]

Music[edit]

In September 2019, Daniel Pemberton was announced to serve as composer for the film's soundtrack.[58]

Release[edit]

Birds of Prey is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States on February 7, 2020.[37]

Marketing[edit]

Marketing began on the January 21, 2019, when a first-look production video of the characters and costumes titled "See You Soon", was released by Warner Bros. via YouTube.[59] DC Comics plans to publish a promotional trade paperback anthology featuring stories based on the film on November 12, 2019.[60] The first teaser debuted exclusively in theatres on September 5, 2019, in front of screenings for It: Chapter Two, with Quinn stating that she is "so *POP*ing over clowns", in a collective reference to It / Pennywise the Dancing Clown and the Joker.[61]

A short teaser was released on the film's social media pages, announcing the first official trailer would be released on October 1, 2019. A series of posters, which also announced the trailer debut, was released the same day.[62]

Future[edit]

Birds of Prey is expected to be the first in a trilogy of films focusing on Harley Quinn, with the second rumored to be based on the Gotham City Sirens team.[63]

References[edit]

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JEDEDIAH SMITH – VFX SUPERVISOR – METHOD STUDIOS

External links[edit]