Birds of Prey Movie Rumors

This weekend Yahoo news interviewed Margot Robbie. During the interview she spoke about the Birds of Prey movie in development. Admittedly it wasn’t much more than we knew prior, but a few comments Margot made are worthy of noting.

The BoP movie will be R-rated and have a smaller scope due to the budget… not her exact words but basically the gist.

The BoP movie will be “true to life” which translates into “ethnical and cultural diversity”. Typically changing the ethnicity of character does little to help the secondary market. More often than not, changing the ethnicity of a character is the kiss of death for their first appearance. However, if it’s done in a way that makes sense, it could be less damaging.

Before I get into the ways to create diversity, I wanted to address some of the rumor reporting out there. I’ve heard up to 3 scripts are being considered. I know of two screen writers that have written scripts. In at least one of these scripts, Barbara is Oracle and not Batgirl. Other than that, most of what your hearing is click bait. I’d caution folks to take anything not coming from Margot Robbie or director Cathy Yan with a grain of salt right now.

So, with that out of the way… first I want to look at the main characters who could be tweaked a little by making them biracial or mixed race. Hopefully without causing a complete collapse in investment potential. For those of you who’ve read my rantings and ramblings before, you’ve probably already guessed….

Huntress aka Helena Bertinelli. So Helena has the easiest to modify back story and still stay true to the character. Her father would need to still be an Italian/Sicilian with mob ties. Her mother could be changed to asian and have a connection linked to either the Yakuza or Triad. While this would help with marketing the movie in the asian market, I thinks there’s another way to do it. Her mother could also be connected to the Mexican or Colombian Drug Cartels. Personally this is my favorite of the two possible ways to approach it. This would get some diversity into the cast. In doing so without changing the BoP team dynamic from what we typically think of. Also it would up date Helena’s back story to reflect our more modern and diverse world. Maybe it was an arranged marriage to stop a turf war. This change also would in all probability cause little disruption to an already existing screenplay in order to accommodate it.

Black Canary. I could see being changed to another nationality or ethnicity without too much of a problem. We’ve seen plenty of different Caucasian iterations on the TV Show Arrow. I’m sure there are some fans that will rail against this suggestion. However, I’d also like to point out there’s little to no reason she can not be changed or modified other than fanboy outage. Hell, if I can come up with a plausible reason to change Huntress, the least we can do is entertain the idea of doing it with a character that literally has nothing about her that requires her to be White/Caucasian.

Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl aka Oracle. This is pretty cut and dry. We haven’t seen Gordon’s wife since The Dark Knight. So the new series of movies WB/DC has not shown her on screen yet to my knowledge. So why couldn’t Barbara’s mother be mixed race? Or another ethnicity all together making Barbara mixed. Just because we think of her as a red head doesn’t mean she can’t still have red hair when she’s in costume. She could have a wig like Batwoman uses. So there’s ways around Babs being Caucasian. Ultimately longtime readers of this column know, I would prefer Barbara as Oracle. Which could leave room to bring in Cassandra Cain, who’s mixed race already. But I doubt that’s what the plan is… since I am assuming there is in fact a plan. Most likely if Bab’s is Oracle, she’ll probably stay a red head, she also get’s a diversity point for being in the wheelchair.

So that’s potentially how diversity could be added to the core BoP members in a movie.

On the other side of the fence, there’s the bad girls. Something Robbie mentioned in the yahoo interview was that Harley works best when she has other characters to bounce off of. Which is something I’ve also been saying for a while. One character that I wouldn’t be surprised to see is Poison Ivy. Ivy and Harley have some history both in the animated series and the comics. Could this be why the BoP movie is going for the R Rating? Don’t get your hopes up fellas, remember Cathy Yan is directing and I’m fairly certain that objectifying women is not why it’ll be rated R. Probably due to language and violence… however, it might be wise to add a little skin. After all, having male comic nerds on your side can create some good social media buzz.

 

Poison Ivy also helps with the diversity issue. I mean, she’s often shown as having green skin. So I think if adding color to the cast is the real goal, last I checked green is a color AND lets face it, green ladies need love too.

I’ve heard some other unsubstantiated information that there are other characters being tossed around to possibly appear. I have no idea if it’s true… and to be honest I don’t know how good an idea it is to shoehorn anyone other than the above mentioned ladies  into it.

Brave and the Bold #200 1st App Katana

Katana. Who’s already appeared in the Suicide Squad movie and has been a BoP member wouldn’t be the worst idea. She’s already established in the DCU so that’s helpful. Vixen got a huge push on the CW shows and an animated adventure. I wouldn’t mind seeing a big screen version of her, just not at the expense of other characters mentioned getting the opportunity to appear. At this point, even Lois Lane could appear in some capacity.

Tanya Spears aka Second Power Girl. While not my first choice for the first version of Power Girl to be brought to the big screen, she’s a possibility. She’s of African American descent and could work in the capacity we typically think of Oracle. Yes, I know. I’ll probably have my Power Girl fan club membership cancelled for even suggesting it… since, let’s face it, Kara/Karen fans would love to see her on the big screen with a busty actress sporting her trademark costume. Plus, if you’re going to go R, go hard or go home.

That said, I would think Kara/Karen would probably increase the budget a little, seeing as she’s as powerful as Superman. If included, she’d be too powerful for anyone to stand a chance against… except maybe Wonder Woman. To be completely honest, probably best to save PG for the sequel… or a Wonder Woman vs Power Girl movie, I mean how cool would that be? Actually, now that I think of it, it would probably look like Man of Steal. So best to forget I ever mentioned it.

There’s still other characters like Hawk Girl and someone suggested to me The Daughters of Gotham, which if we’re being honest Daughters of Gotham is more what the Birds of Prey movie is really sounding like. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure Batwoman is not part of the discussion, since she’ll be getting a small screen treatment in the CW crossover event later this year. Talia al Ghul, Lady Shiva… I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting. They might also be better served to wait till a sequel. It’s really hard to say, since I have no idea what the plot is yet because there’s 3 or more different scripts! It’s not even clear if it’s going to be good girls vs bad girls or they are all going to be together against some other foe. Personally I like girl on girl violence. A 3 on 3, no holds barred, good girls vs bad girls extravaganza would be great.

Last but not least is Catwoman aka Selina Kyle. So we’ve already had two big screen incarnation of her as Caucasian and one as African America. While the Halle Berry movie was a dumpster fire inside of a train wreck inside of a much larger dumpster fire, that’s not her fault. It was the writer and director and producers fault for making it in the first place. No actress on earth could have saved the steaming hot mess of stupidity. With Catwoman added, that would create a Gotham City Sirens vs Birds of Prey type situation. Which is probably what most of us are hoping for.

So wait a minute, what about books? Which ones should I buy?

To be honest, investment wise, as it stands right now any key’s related to the above characters mentioned is the best you can do. Many of which are the same books I’ve been talking about for 2 years. Until Robbie and company start casting for a January start date, there’s no real useful information for speculators. All the same key books are still in play until real news starts thinning them out. Also it’s important to point out, another female lead superhero move was supposed to start filming this year and didn’t end up happening. So tread lightly until casting news drops and characters are confirmed, not just rumors.

Till next time!

11 comments

  • Dan Piercy

    I like Katana, a lot, actually, but I think pairing here with Harley is awkward. Having said that she’s one of my fav ladies in the DCU.

    I must confess I’m not familiar with Cathy Yan at all, but it seems like she would make a good movie. 😂 Anyone but Snyder, not a very nice sentiment, but he has been missing the pitches, big time.

    • Skot Whitman

      Thanks for reading and commenting Dan!

      I’m firmly in the “No More Snyder, Anything” Camp. I think fresh blood can only help DC’s current film situation. However, Cathy Yan has really only directed one movie and a couple of shorts. As we’ve seen with Marvel Movies, a directors past experience isn’t an indicator of capabilities. So hopefully the BoP movie won’t end up being a huge mess.

      I wrote this because many peoples knee jerk reaction to “diversity” is unfavorable. So I want to think about how it could be achieved without too much backlash. I’d agree, Katana paired with Harley Quinn is not my first choice either. I do believe that Harley would not work in a solo movie, so surrounding her with other characters is a very smart play.

  • Peter Renna

    Awesome article and I like your focus on diversity. It shouldn’t be veiwed as a bad thing. It’s the world we live in. Maybe one day it won’t even be a “thing” to notice. Oh who am I kidding, there will always be fan boys who flipout at the slightest changes. But that’s the nature of the beast.

    If you want it exactly like the book, then just read the book. We need to look at it like a new creative team coming on a title. Might be different from what’s come before, but that’s not always a bad thing. I hope they just make it good.

    • Skot Whitman

      One of the problems with comics is that many characters were created by white men, so naturally they are white. I think comics have always been a step behind when it comes to reflecting the world. That being said, I think there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle diversity.

      As an example, changing Domino in Deadpool 2 and Deadshot in the Suicide Squad I think are examples of how/when it works. Where Fantastic Four was an example of it not working. Had FF gone all in and changed Sue as well, that would have made more sense to me, since Johnny and Sue are biological brother and sister. Keeping Sue white and using the “she’s adopted” excuse I think was a real half assed way to play it. Granted, there’s plenty of other reason FF was met with backlash also.

      Maybe one day it won’t be a thing… but in a world where angry Star wars fans are complaining about more than one woman on screen at a time, that day seems further and further away.

      Thanks for reading and commenting Peter.

      • So because the majority of comic book characters were created by “white men” is a “problem”? OK with that. (rolls eyes). I think the vast majority of fans, casual and die hard prefer any character, no matter who, to stay true to the original. It seems if canon is white, it is taken has racist and a bad thing, or a “step behind” by a very vocal and sometimes violent minority (SJW types). No idea why making new characters to reflect diversity and leaving established ones alone is so horrible to that vocal minority.

        • Skot Whitman

          (eyeroll facepalm) sigh… Well it’s a problem if the goal is to make a movie that will appeal to the largest number of people, today, and not 10 years ago!

          While personally I’d prefer characters stay true to canon, I’ve learned to except that is not a realistic expectation from Hollywood. Not because it can’t be done, more because the writers, directors and produces have no desire to adhere to canon. Once you start to divert from cannon, it’s pretty much open season. The purpose of this piece was to explore ways they “could” infuse the movie with diversity. Rather than bitching about it.

          While I wouldn’t consider myself an SJW by any stretch of the imagination, simply evolved enough to comprehend that the world is not solely consisting of people of one gender, race, decent or religion. I do consider myself fortunate that’s I’ve had the opportunity to see first hand what people other than white have to experience and contend with in this country.

          As far as making new characters that reflect diversity, as opposed to race/gender swapping characters. I’d agree with that to a point. It’s probably the best move long term. However there’s no easy or good answer to that. Primarily because everyone is going to have a different perspective on this topic. Much like politics or religion, it’s not going to necessary be based on anything tangible, making it difficult for others not sharing that perspective to grasp or buy into.

  • I’m a fan of keeping the characters the same as the source material. I had a problem when they made Terry Fitzgerald a white guy in the Spawn movie as much as I had a problem with changing the race of Deadshot (even though Will Smith was one of the best parts of the Suicide Squad movie). With that being said, there is a character that they could introduce, Onyx. A reformed member of the League of Assassins could be an interesting addition to the movie.

    • Skot Whitman

      That did seem odd that they changed Terry in the Spawn movie…. I could speculate why they did that, but I won’t.

      As far as keeping things canon, I’ve given up on that idea with Hollywood. As the MCU has proven, getting the spirt of the characters right is what’s most important.

  • misfit138

    Here we are talking about diversity in an all female movie. Not diverse at all.

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