New 'Birds of Prey' Trailer Reveals How to Make a Blockbuster With No Studio Fingerprints
Harley Quinn is back in the first Birds of Prey trailer, the new (and much-anticipated) movie from indie filmmaker and director Cathy Yan.
Who needs Joker when you have Harley Quinn?
Margot Robbie is back as the popular DC anti-hero in Warner Bros. Birds of Prey, which marks the studio directorial debut of the very talented Cathy Yan. The Chinese-American film director, screenwriter, and producer is best known for directing the 2018 comedy-drama Dead Pigs. Yan, practically overnight, went from those very indie, low-budget roots to helm this spinoff/sidequel based on the popular Suicide Squad character.
And from the looks of this trailer, Yan executed a movie with seemingly zero (or, at least, very little) studio fingerprints. (Yes, John Wick director Chad Stahelski was brought in to for second-unit reshoots to beef up the action -- but in concert with Yan's vision. That hiring is expected given how the process on films of this scale work and Yan's level of experience.) But, honestly, fans aren't putting on their finest cosplay for this movie because explosions and gun fights (though they look super cool here). They are excited for this movie for the way Yan has embraced Harley's very f**ked up world that's a cross between Hot Topic stores and air-brushed T-shirt art at the mall.
Having a star at Robbie's level backing Yan's vision is helpful and necessary in order to pull off the much welcomed outside-the-box storytelling we glimpse in the trailer. That, coupled with Yan joining the ranks of Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins to be only the second woman to helm a DC comic book movie in a male-dominated landscape, makes Birds of Prey all the more special and unique in the superhero movie landscape.
Joining Robbie's Harley in Gotham City will be the Huntress, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead -- the first time the popular DC character has appeared in a live-action movie. Ditto Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Gotham PD's Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez). They are up against the big bad Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) and Chris Messina's villain, Victor Zsasz.
What You Can Learn
So when you get this place in your career, it is vital to have the star to help service and protect the world you are trying to create, with a shared and brave vision you and they have for its creation. Judging by fan reaction to the trailer, and every piece of marketing surrounding the film thus far, that collaboration is paying off.
It looks like Yan is going to do for Harley and Margot Robbie what James Gunn did for Groot and Rocket Raccoon. Can't. Wait.
Birds of Prey arrives in theaters February 7, 2020.