Colorful New 'Birds of Prey' Footage Unveiled for Fans in Brazil
Fans of Harley Quinn got a new look at the movie Thursday at Comic Con Experience, the Brazilian convention in São Paulo, where Margot Robbie and the cast of next year’s Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) debuted all-new footage, including the opening sequence of the movie itself.
Two convention-only clips were screened for the audience, including a new trailer that focused more on Black Canary and Huntress than the first — as Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) put it, Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) has “anger issues,” despite her shouted assertions to the contrary, while Canary herself has a broken heart and feels empathy for a Harley who’s learning to be alone after the Joker dumped her. Don’t worry; there was also plenty of explosions, and Harley’s two beloved hyenas, Wayne and Bruce. (Just wait a second, it’ll come to you.)
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Much of the trailer featured footage from the first trailer released in October. As impressive as the new trailer was, the chance to see the opening sequence of the feature was what truly wowed the crowd, with screaming so loud that the dialogue was at times inaudible. Nonetheless, Harley got to narrate how she was starting over after splitting with the Joker, with a new place, some new pets — and a dead pet store owner to boot, but that’s what he gets for telling her he’d accept “payment in kind” — and finally found closure.
If this sounds a little too emotionally healthy for Harley Quinn, don’t worry; her closure came after overhearing friends joke that her split from the Joker was only temporary, and involved her getting drunk, returning to the special place she and Mr. J used to share — the Ace Chemical Plant where the Joker dropped Harleen Quinzel into a toxic vat, creating Harley as we know her now — and, after inspiration struck, destroying the chemical plant with the help of a tanker that was just sitting around, waiting to be stolen. As the plant blew up in technicolor explosions behind her, the logo for the movie appeared onscreen, and the footage ended.
Talking after the footage, Robbie explained the origins of the project.
“I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her after Suicide Squad. I love her so much,” she told the audience. “I didn’t actually read the comics before I started researching the character of Harley Quinn and then I started reading the comics and got obsessed.”
A love for the source material was a running theme as each actor spoke about their character, with Winstead joking, “To get to be the daughter of a mob hitman, why not?” She also said that she felt incredibly honored and proud to play her, because "to me, she’s kind of the ultimate bad ass.” Also honored was Smollett-Bell, who specifically name checked comic book writer Gail Simone as the inspiration behind her version of Dinah Lance.
Smollett-Bell also offered some information on who Black Canary is onscreen: A super-powered figure who, following the death of her crimefighting mother, has turned her back on doing the right thing, choosing instead to become a singer in Black Mask, the nightclub owned by Ewan MacGregor’s Roman Sionis. “What’s interesting for me to explore is a woman who’s so powerful but is at a point where she’s not willing to own her own power,” the actor said, before promising that, by the end of the movie, Dinah Lance is recognizable to comic book fans. “Dinah’s all heart,” she said.
If Black Canary resembles her comic book counterpart, Ella Jay Basco’s Cassandra Cain breaks from the original in a noticeable manner. “She’s a street girl, she’s mischievous, she’s sneaky, she has a bit of a potty mouth,” Basco said, adding that Cain is also the character who ultimately brings the team together after forming a familial bond with Robbie’s Harley Quinn.
Rosie Perez, who plays Renee Montoya, shared her excitement about the non-powered, non-costumed hero she plays. “She’s pretty smart. Actually, she’s smarter than most of the men she works with. She’s hardcore, she doesn’t take any BS,” Perez said of the Gotham City detective who has to step outside the law to save the day. “What I like about her is that, she works in an environment where no one gives her any respect, but she doesn’t cry about it, she fights back.”
Director Cathy Yan and Robbie shared their mutual love for each other when talking about Yan’s work on the movie. “Thank you Margot, for coming up with the idea, for recruiting me!” Yan said, calling the movie “such an inspiring story.” For Robbie’s part, she said, “The second Cathy came in and spoke about the script, we knew we’d found our director. She just got it… It felt right and she’s done an incredible job.”
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is written by Christina Hodson and will be released in the U.S. Feb. 7, 2020. Though the new footage has not been released online, Birds of Prey did drop new character posters for fans not in Brazil.
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