How 'Birds of Prey' Could Lead to a Poison Ivy Team-Up

Birds of Prey Costume Image 6 - Publicity - H 2020
<p><em>Birds of Prey</em></p>   |   Claudette Barius
With Harley Quinn's bisexuality suggested in the film's animated opening, an exploration of what a healthy relationship with the plant-themed villain looks like is worthy of attention.

[This story contains spoilers for Birds of Prey.]

Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) may be free from her relationship with the Joker, but there’s sure to still be a significant amount of toxicity in her life going forward, because she is still Harley Quinn after all. If there’s one character who can help mitigate some of those toxins, it’s Poison Ivy. Harley and Ivy’s relationship is a long and storied one in the DC Universe, ever since the two first teamed up in the 47th episode of Batman: The Animated Series, fittingly titled “Harley and Ivy.” Since then, the two have frequently found themselves partnering up in the pages of Batman, Detective Comics, Harley Quinn and the recent miniseries Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy and on DC Universe’s new animated series Harley Quinn. They’ve been criminal partners, BFFs and romantically linked, each aspect of their relationship creating a portrait of two women who are more than Batman villains. Margot Robbie has expressed her enthusiasm for the character showing up in the future, and seeing the pair of them onscreen would definitely thrill fans. There’s a scenario that could see Harley torn between Ivy and the Birds of Prey: Enter the Gotham City Sirens.

Gotham City Sirens was a comic book series that began in 2009 and ran for 26 issues. Created by writer and Harley Quinn co-creator Paul Dini and artist Guillem March, the title saw Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Catwoman form a team in the aftermath of Batman’s apartment death during Final Crisis. In the series, the three still have their own separate adventures and vendettas, but come together for protection, which leads to them making enemies who would see all three of them dead, and dealing with the presence of a new Batman (Dick Grayson). The trio also found themselves allied with the Riddler, who’d been drugged and seduced by Ivy, and used his base as their headquarters. Warner Bros. saw the potential for the Gotham City Sirens early on and in 2016, following the release of Suicide Squad, director David Ayer signed on to helm from a script penned by Geneva Robertson-Dworet. The project was eventually put on hold in favor of Birds of Prey, but that doesn’t mean the Sirens don’t have a future in the DC film universe.

The cast of Birds of Prey have discussed a scenario that would see the team face off against the Gotham City Sirens, with Harley Quinn caught in the middle. Challenging Harley’s neutral position as an antihero and finding her torn between the world of superheroes and criminals could be a fascinating arc for the character that could allow even more of DC’s women to shine. And with Harley single, and her bisexuality suggested in Birds of Prey’s animated opening, the exploration of what a healthy relationship with Poison Ivy looks like is also worthy of attention.

Poison Ivy seems like an easy character to bring into this world, and more than enough time has passed since her appearance in Batman & Robin (1997), in which she was portrayed by Uma Thurman, for her to get a reinvention in the DC film universe. The past decade of comics has seen Poison Ivy, like Harley Quinn, pulled between the status of hero and villain, with occasionally inconsistent depictions, but of late she’s landed closer to the heroic side and may be set to replace Swamp Thing as protector of The Green. Like Black Mask in Birds of Prey, it’s possible for Poison Ivy to already exist within this world, making a retelling of her origin story unnecessary. Instead, the focus could be placed on her and Harley’s relationship, and how their perfect criminal partnership changes with the arrival of Catwoman.

Catwoman’s introduction could prove to be a little more complicated. While the idea of Zoe Kravitz’s upcoming take on Selina Kyle interacting with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey sounds perfect, the specifics of Matt Reeves’ The Batman are unknown in terms of its place in continuity, if it has one at all. But thanks to Warner Bros.' increasingly leniency on the continuity of these films and greater interest in letting filmmakers tell their own stories, Catwoman, whether portrayed by Kravitz or someone else, doesn’t seem like too much to hope for. Like Joker, Catwoman is iconic enough for multiple versions of the character to exist. And like Harley and Ivy, she’s also found herself transitioning from villain to hero, and seeing those morals play out against the Birds of Prey could make for an interesting conflict, not to mention some stellar action scenes.

Although it’s unknown whether Ayer is still attached to Gotham City Sirens, which he said last month was on hold, it would be more fitting to see him in the role of producer and have Cathy Yan and Christina Hodson take over directing and scripting duties, respectively. Whether the Gotham City Sirens have their own film first or appear in the Birds of Prey sequel that we’ll hopefully receive, it feels as though the same creative team who brought out the unique characterizations and complexities of Black Canary, Huntress, Renee Montoya, Harley Quinn and Cassandra Cain could do the same for Catwoman and Poison Ivy. Birds of Prey feels like the start of something new and exciting within the DC film universe and for those specific characters, a crossover with the Gotham City Sirens feels like the logical endgame.