While Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is set to take place in the DC Extended Universe, the latest comments from screenwriter Christina Hodson appear to suggest that the film won’t necessarily be beholden to what director David Ayer laid out in Suicide Squad.
Speaking to Total Film (via Screen Rant), Hodson stated that Birds of Prey can be considered more as a “standalone story” than a direct follow-up to the 2016 supervillain team-up:
“Obviously, yes, [Harley Quinn] is a character we have met before, but it’s really its own story, and that’s kind of how I approached it,” said Hodson. “I just tried to take myself off-leash. I fell in love with this character, and then all of these other new characters. And I just created a brand new story that felt like its own thing, and that doesn’t have to feel like it follows one or the other.”
This fits in with comments from Warner Bros. chairman Toby Emmerich, who revealed earlier this year that the studio is “far less focused on a shared universe” and intends on affording its filmmakers more creative freedom to focus on individual movies and stories rather than the “Marvel playbook” of ensuring everything’s connected.
Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) is directing Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) from a script by Christina Hodson (Bumblebee) with Margot Robbie reprising her Suicide Squad role as Harley Quinn alongside Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Fargo) as The Huntress, Jurnee Smolett-Bell (Underground) as Black Canary, Rosie Perez (Fearless) as Renee Montoya, Ella Jay Basco (Grey’s Anatomy) as Cassandra Cain, Ewan McGregor (Christopher Robin) as Black Mask, Chris Messina (Sharp Objects) as Victor Zsasz, Ali Wong (Black Box), Robert Catrini (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back), Steven Williams (The Chi), Dana Lee (Dr. Ken), Francois Chau (The Expanse, The Tick) and Matthew Willig (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs). It is set for release on February 7th 2020.