Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is making an effort to pay homage to Harley Quinn’s comic book by bringing in her pet hyena. However, as the filmmakers couldn’t use a real hyena due to the high level of risk, Margot Robbie has revealed they used a dog as a stand-in and CGI’d it to look like a hyena.
“It was one of those things that when we first put in the script, [writer] Christina Hodson and I, ’cause obviously in the comics, Harley has two hyenas,” Robbie told ComicBook.com. “Ultimately, we have one, because even one was expensive. But, we thought it was a great idea at the time. And then in pre-production, suddenly everyone was like, ‘So, how are we doing the hyena thing?’ It’s incredibly difficult. We went to go see a real-life hyena, there’s a hyena in California that’s appeared on screen before. Turns out, it was gonna be impossible to shoot with him because they’re extremely dangerous and take ownership of anything they touch. So, if you put it on the couch, then it’s gonna eat the couch. You can’t get the couch back. It doesn’t really work for filming.”
“Ultimately we had a really big dog that was then, its fur was CGI’d, and body shape CGI’d to look like a hyena,” Robbie continued. “Because the alternative is to have a dude in a green suit.”
Although we only got a few short clips of the hyena in the trailers for Birds of Prey, it looks like the team has done a great job with the visual effects with how effective and seamless the hyena looks.
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a twisted tale told by Harley herself, as only Harley can tell it. When Gotham’s most nefariously narcissistic villain, Roman Sionis, and his zealous right-hand, Zsasz, put a target on a young girl named Cass, the city is turned upside down looking for her. Harley, Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya’s paths collide, and the unlikely foursome have no choice but to team up to take Roman down.
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) and Matthew Willig (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs). It is set for release on February 7th 2020.