In the pantheon of comic book characters, Harley Quinn is relatively new, but she’s wasted no time skyrocketing to the top as one of the most popular characters in the DC Comics lineup. Warner Bros. introduced her to their cinematic universe back in 2016’s Suicide Squad and have since made it abundantly clear that Harley is a top priority for the studio moving forward. They’ve developed a number of potential spinoff projects for the character in the subsequent years, including a Joker/Harley film and a possible Gotham City Sirens movie with Suicide Squad director David Ayer, but the one that looks poised to take off is the Robbie-produced Birds of Prey movie.
Warner Bros. recently recruited Dead Pigs director Cathy Yan to helm the project, and with Robbie’s noir thriller Terminal arriving in theaters, Collider‘s Haleigh Foutch sat down with the actress for a chat earlier today and took the opportunity to ask about how her vision for the Harley Quinn movie lined up with Yan’s.
Robbie noted that she’s spent three years on the project now, having first pitched it while they were filming Suicide Squad back in 2015, and she’s always had a clear vision for it.
“I pitched the idea of an R-rated girl gang film including Harley, because I was like, ‘Harley needs friends.’ Harley loves interacting with people, so don’t ever make her do a standalone film. She’s got to be with other people, it should be a girl gang. I wasn’t seeing enough girl gangs on screen, especially in the action space. So that was always a big part of it.
The other element was finding a female director to take the helm, though Robbie notes the priority was always finding the right director above all. Speaking to her vision for the film, Robbie continued,
“And then of course having a female director to tell that story. And giving a female director the chance to do big budget stuff. They always get ‘Here’s the tiny little film’… I was like, ‘I love action. I love action films. I’m a girl. What, are we meant to only like a specific thing’?” So it was a hugely important to find a female director for this, if possible. But at the end of the day — male, female — the best director gets the job and Cathy was the best director.
Robbie also spoke with the folks at Moviefone today and confirmed that she wasn’t involved with the other potential Harley projects, and instead kept her focus on developing this movie with screenwriter Christina Hodson (Bumblebee). “I want to make a girl gang, R-rated film that Harley is a part of,” Robbie explained, “And we started working on it from there. Meanwhile, over the course of the next few years, the studio was exploring other Harley Quinn spin-offs. But I was not a part of those versions, I was always focused on this one with Christina… I know that they were exploring ‘Gotham City Sirens’ with David Ayer, and I know they were exploring a Joker and Harley Quinn movie, and they were exploring doing I don’t know what else. I wasn’t a part of those. I was focusing on this. I kept presenting it to the studio until they felt it was at a point where they were ready to do it. And now we’re all in.”
An R-rated girl gang film featuring Harley Quinn? That sounds like the ideal project for the crowd-pleasing character, who’s just as keen to shower her friends with love as shower Batman with piranhas.