Friday, September 25, 2020

DC’s Birds Of Prey, The Suicide Squad We Deserve

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Adam Chmielewski
Adam Chmielewski is the latest Mid-Western transplant to take up residence in the City Of Angels. Aside from contributing to Nerdbot, he’s writing screenplays for film and television. Just like everyone else in Los Angeles.

It’s not even Comic-Con yet and the folks over at Warner Brothers are already rolling out the headlines.

First, the Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie (which I personally thought was never going to happen) got green lit. Quite possibly the first step in a major DCEU facelift. We’ve seen a couple photos of Shazam! and the Aquaman poster, but what really peaked my interest was the announcement of Birds Of Prey.

If you’re fortunate enough to attend the festivities in San Diego this weekend, I hope you don’t feel short changed on the show. DC fans will get a first look at the Aquaman trailer, maybe a Shazam! teaser, and I’m thinking something with Wonder Woman ’84 but I’m not entirely sure exactly what. So don’t worry, many of us will be jealous of you. Especially me.

As last week brought us some much needed resolution with Joaquin Phoenix, this week brings us Birds Of Prey. On July 16th, TheWrap.com reported the introduction of a female led sort of Suicide Squad that will feature the return of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Joining her are the likes of Black Canary, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, and Renee Montoya. The article also describes a Batman villain who has never been on screen before, to make an appearance in the film.

For those of us who have no clue who these people are; let me break it down for you…

Harley Quinn: you should know her by now.

Huntress: a badass warrior.

Cassandra Cain: highly skilled martial artist who can anticipate reactions.

Renee Montoya: a detective who may or may not a Gotham City police officer for a part of the movie.

If we are talking comics influencing the direction of the characters/plot, we got a couple really cool options to explore. For starters, both Huntress and Cassandra Cain have connections to Batman. The former being Bruce Wayne’s daughter in certain story lines. The latter taking up the mantle of Batgirl. So the fanboy foundation is there. Either one is primed for integration to a larger role outside of Birds Of Prey.

I’ve seen rumblings on the internet about DC moving away from the idea of a shared universe to focus on solo projects but until I see those words in a press release, I’m not buying it. We may never see Justice League 2, however if the next wave of DC stuff is descent, I see no reason why the universe concept couldn’t still work.

Renee Montoya I’m predicting to be the film’s most compelling addition. In the source material she is a Gotham City police officer, scorned by the others for her sexual preferences. On screen, this could play out beautifully if done right. She could be the person in charge of putting the Birds Of Prey behind bars only to join them at some point. Writers can build a sense of moral ambiguity with her to drive the character arcs. Maybe Montoya starts off as good, then through further exposure to the corrupt world around her, or being alienated from fellow cops, she’s drawn to a life of crime. Like an anti-hero. She might be bad, but everyone else is way worse. Therefore we like her.

Finally… Harley Quinn, arguably one of three quality, yet salvageable pieces of Suicide Squad is back! Deadshot and Captain Boomerang are the other two. They are supposed to be in Suicide Squad sans Harley. Believe me, that’s a good thing. By splitting up the group for a pair of quasi-sequels puts the studio in the best position to succeed. If both movies are good, great! Who cares. Warner Brothers can rest assured one their most profitable properties is not a laughing stock anymore. If both movies are bad, they can cut ties all together, then move forward. If one is good, and one is bad, they can mash them together for the world’s most okayest superhero film. Either way, fresh faces on each side of production might be the shot of positivity the franchises need.

We know Robbie can carry an entire film. I, Tonya was incredible! She could easily be the second standout star of the DCEU behind Gal Gadot. But it will take more than one person to restore faith in anything Suicide Squad related. I wish I knew how the movie made as much money as it did. Task Force X found an audience, just not positive reviews. Revamping the similar model of villains as heroes with an all female cast is another way to further equality in Hollywood while keeping the franchise true to its roots. This would make DC pioneers as they’ve delivered on the first female led superhero film (Gadot + Patty Jenkins), now to be the first to deliver a female ensemble comic book movie, is practically historic.

Just imagine what it would be like if DC successfully dug themselves out of their current situation… Between Suicide Squad 2 and Birds Of Prey, there could be close to ten characters, capable of all sorts of cross-overs, spin-offs, sequels, guest appearances, leaving a ton of room for creativity here.

One thing that makes me very happy is I feel the announcement of Birds Of Prey will move Jared Leto out of the DCEU. As if the Morbius role wasn’t enough, the fact he’s not likely to return as the Joker for a couple years (I do not believe he will be in Suicide Squad 2) may simply be uninteresting to the Oscar winning actor. I hope so because I like Jared Leto, just not as “this” Joker. Lord knows I listed several reasons in the past.

I have a feeling after Comic-Con… we’re all going to start feeling better about the DCEU.

By Adam Chmielewski

@PolishKaiju

Photo Credits- Warner Brothers/DC

Does Birds Of Prey means good things are on the horizon for DC? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!!

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