Birds of Prey is being described as a "girl gang" movie set in the DC cinematic universe,
following Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn as she takes Gotham City on her own terms.
Now that we've seen the film's first trailer, we know more than ever about why these birds
are flocking together.
As a character, Harley Quinn has largely been defined by her toxic relationship with the
That was certainly the case in 2016's Suicide Squad, but she's leaving her Puddin' behind
in Cathy Yan's new movie.
The "Fantabulous Emancipation" part of the title refers to the fact that Harley Quinn
has broken up with the Joker, and she confirms as much in the trailer.
We see Robbie's character chopping off the pink and blue-tinged tips of her hair in one
shot, and this isn't just a play on the fact that people often enjoy a makeover after a
Harley Quinn's hair was a big part of her costume in Suicide Squad, and having Robbie
cut it off is seemingly symbolic of the character moving on from that much-derided movie.
But can she move on from the Joker completely?
The opening shot of the trailer sees Harley Quinn and her new sidekick Cassandra Cain
walking down a deserted road with the bright lights of Gotham's cityscape in the background,
but the purple light in the foreground seems to suggest that her experiences in the Joker's
colorful, club-lit world are still following her for the time being.
One of the standout moments from the first Birds of Prey trailer sees Harley Quinn lying
in what appears to be her own apartment throwing knives at a crude picture of her ex that she's
pinned to the wall.
The drawing resembles Jared Leto's Joker, though Harley neglected to draw on his tacky
Yeah, you remember that thing.
Suicide Squad director David Ayer attempted to make his version of the Joker stand out
from the rest by giving him plenty of ink and a shiny mouth grill for good measure.
But he later admitted that having the word "damaged" tattooed across the Joker's forehead
was kind of one step too far.
He wrote on Twitter,
"In my mind it was meant for Batman after he smashed Joker's teeth for killing Jason
Todd, [but] some people found it alienating."
For us, this toning down of the Joker's worst excesses seems like another instance of Birds
of Prey distancing itself from Suicide Squad, even though we likely wouldn't be getting
this movie at all if that one hadn't first laid the groundwork for Harley's most fantabulous
Dinah Lance, a.k.a Black Canary is one of the original members of the Birds of Prey
in DC's "New 52" continuity, and the Birds of Prey movie seems to be taking inspiration
from this version of the character, who's being portrayed on screen by Jurnee Smollett-Bell.
Lance appears early in the trailer, chatting with Harley over a drink.
It seems like this may be a scene of Dinah being recruited onto Harley's new team.
We see several snippets of Lance performing onstage during the trailer, which won't come
as a surprise to DC fans.
In the comics, the character fronts a band named Black Canary, and DC has even overseen
the production and release of real music by the fictional group.
This being a comic book universe, she also doubles as a crimefighter.
Her signature metahuman superpower is her sonic scream, known as the Canary Cry, which
is an incapacitating sound that leaves her enemies helpless.
Eagle-eyed fans will have noticed that the movie version will have this power, too.
In the trailer, we see a martini glass start to shake as the vigilante sings on stage,
but we cut away before she hits the high note.
Ewan McGregor is playing the big bad in Birds of Prey.
His character, Roman Sionis, goes by Black Mask in the comics because he wears, you guessed
it, a black mask.
"Yeah, that's…that's what that means."
McGregor's version of the character won't be totally comic book accurate when it comes
On the page, his mask is burned into his skin so severely that it's actually indistinguishable
from his actual face.
Adding some extra "grim dark-ness" is the fact that the mask's material was carved from
his mother's coffin.
Considering we see plenty of McGregor's face in the trailer, that clearly isn't the case
here, but there is some subtle foreshadowing about the look Sionis may adopt.
In the comics, this Gotham mob boss is known for being mentally unstable, and it appears
as though McGregor's Black Mask will share that trait.
At one point, we see him in a state of clear distress.
Just over his shoulder, a figure with a black face looms large.
Could this be the moment that Sionis goes full villain and becomes the Black Mask that
Harley Quinn and her crew will have to take out?
One thing we know for sure is that he has a fascination with Harley, and one way or
another, he's in the way of her full "emancipation."
She belongs to me."
Sticking with the villains, there's a shot of Sionis talking to Victor Zsasz, a psychotic
serial killer from the comics.
This won't be his first movie appearance, he was a supporting villain in Christopher
Nolan's Batman Begins, escaping from Arkham Asylum during Scarecrow and Ra's al Ghul's
short-lived reign of terror.
He's also been seen in the Gotham TV series as a right-hand man in Carmine Falcone's crime
syndicate, and it appears as though he'll be doing the same thing in Birds of Prey.
The version of Mr. Zsasz being portrayed by Chris Messina looks different from those that
came before him, but DC fans can likely figure out who he is from his scars.
Zsasz was born to a wealthy family, but after he lost his parents in an accident he fell
into a deep depression and squandered his fortune.
He went down a dark path and became a serial killer, making a cut on his arm to mark his
first victim…and he didn't stop there.
The comic book character has hundreds of scars on his body, keeping a tally of all the people
Does Harley Quinn have a pair of pet hyenas?
Of course she has a pair of pet hyenas, and we get a good look at one of them in the first
Like Harley Quinn herself, Bud and Lou, named after legendary comedy duo Abbott and Costello,
make their debut in Batman: The Animated Series, but would later cross over to DC's comics.
At one stage both were stolen by thieves who attempted to auction them off, but Quinn located
her babies and put an end to the racket.
It looks as though a version of this will play out in the movie.
Quinn previously has been shown acquiring Bud and Lou during a raid of the Gotham Zoo,
but in the Birds of Prey trailer, she appears to get at least one of her hyenas from some
kind of exotic animal dealer.
In a later shot, the animal runs at the dealer who, we can only assume, meets a violent end.
In one of the trailer's standout shots, Quinn shares what looks like a piece of candy with
her new pet, Lady and the Tramp style.
There's a musical feel to the Birds of Prey trailer.
Not only do we see Jurnee Smollett-Bell's Black Canary performing at a club that seems
to be important to the plot.
It seems pretty clear that it's owned by Ewan McGregor's Black Mask, who asks patrons if
they're having a good time, but Harley Quinn herself has a song and dance number in which
she channels Marilyn Monroe's performance of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" from
the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, though it's a much darker version.
Quinn has a typically deranged look on her face during the routine, and the suited men
surrounding her all wear black masks.
We know that Sionis has a thing for Quinn, could he convince her to start working for
him at the club?
Harley goes through a number of costume changes in the trailer, none of which are as ridiculously
revealing as her Suicide Squad outfit, but we can't see her agreeing to wear this particular
This scene is most likely some kind of dream or nightmare sequence, inspired by her fear
of the film's antagonist.
If that's true, however, it obviously won't last.
As Harley puts it in the trailer,
"I'm the one they should be scared of!"
She isn't known for being a member of the Birds of Prey in the comics, but Renée Montoya,
played by Rosie Perez, looks like she'll fit right in to the movie squad.
On the page, the character starts out as a no-nonsense cop, but she ends up quitting
the Gotham City Police Department when she grows tired of the corruption.
Judging from one of the shots we see of her in the trailer, she's going to leave the force
pretty early in the movie; she can be seen walking though a room full of male cops with
a box under her arm, seemingly having cleared out her desk.
In the comics, Montoya eventually takes on the moniker the Question, originally used
by an investigative journalist who sought to end corruption by any means necessary.
She's also known for being openly gay, though there's nothing in the first full Birds of
Prey trailer to suggest that aspect of her character just yet.
Her superhero costume isn't quite as purple as it is in the comics, but a few small things
in the Birds of Prey trailer suggest Mary Elizabeth Winstead's Helena Bertinelli, a.k.a
Huntress, will be somewhat faithful to the source material.
Some of the details are more obvious than others; she's going to ride a motorcycle and
wield a crossbow, for example.
In the comics, Helena, a so-called "mafia princess" of the Bertinelli crime family,
was taken in by her Sicilian aunt and uncle after her family was massacred, and they taught
her archery among other skills that she'd later put to use as a vigilante in Gotham.
Another Huntress character trait is that she's a deeply religious person.
This leads us to believe that the third shot in the trailer, of a woman praying in a church,
We only see her from behind, but at this early stage in the trailer the ladies that will
become the Birds of Prey are clearly being introduced, and DC fans have been able to
figure this one out.
In a later shot, a woman wearing what appears to be the same modest outfit is strung upside
down alongside two other females by Black Mask, so she appears to have previous contact
with the villain prior to hooking up with Harley Quinn and the gang.
In the comics, Cassandra Cain is a member of the Bat-family, at one point taking on
the mantle of Batgirl.
But the version of Cassandra we see in the Birds of Prey trailer seems pretty far removed
from the badass she is on the page.
In DC's comics, Cain is a talented martial artist, raised by assassin parents who taught
her how to fight instead of teaching her how to speak.
But Ella Jay Basco's version of the character can clearly talk in the film's first trailer,
so we know that she won't be mute in the movie.
The big-screen Cassandra Cain must have something about her, however, because Black Mask appears
to be after her for some reason.
The plot of Birds of Prey seems like it revolves around the team protecting Cain from the ruthless
crime lord by any means necessary, with the youngster becoming a reluctant sidekick to
Harley Quinn along the way.
"Oh, you're that psycho chick."
"You never call a woman a chick."
Check out one of our newest videos right here!
Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite comic book movies are coming soon.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell so you don't miss a single one.