It's fair to say that DC's Suicide Squad wasn't the greatest movie ever made. In fact, it's fair to say it wasn't even the best DC movie ever made. Critics weren't won over back in 2016, and audience reaction was fairly lukewarm. Although the film performed reasonably well at the box office, raking in $747 million (Dh2.7 billion), social media was abuzz with complaints about the film's messy structure, confused storyline and poorly sketched characters.
One takeaway that most viewers were united on, however, was that Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was a definite high point - so it’s not entirely surprising that she’s getting her own spin-off movie, which started shooting this month.
The first teaser trailer just dropped online, ahead of the February 2020 release of the magnificently named Birds of Prey, or the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. And while it doesn't give too much away in its brief 19 seconds on screen, we can take a few hints from the trailer.
Batman keeps us guessing
Shortly before the trailer landed, Robbie set internet tongues wagging when she posted a picture of herself, in character, on Instagram wearing a pendant clearly engraved with the name “Bruce.” Is Robbie teasing us with a hint that Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, could make an appearance in the film? Well. the trailer offers no help here, sadly. There’s certainly no sign of Batman, so fans will have to keep guessing for now.
Female superhero team
We do catch a glimpse of a few characters that definitely will be in the film, however, and from what we can make out it looks like Harley has had a haircut, ditched her toxic on-off boyfriend The Joker (the “emancipation” of the title?) and started moving in much more wholesome female superhero circles.
All of the characters we meet are introduced in fleeting glances, so there’s not too much given away in terms of plot, but the first of her new sidekicks we meet is The Huntress, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Huntress is one of many vigilantes to make Gotham City their stomping ground, and she wages war on Gotham's criminals with sometimes lethal force, often putting her at odds with Batman in the comics.
Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s Black Canary features, too. This highly skilled martial artist is the scourge of Gotham’s criminals, sometime partner of Green Arrow, and occasional member of the Justice League. Next up, we get a brief glance at Ella Jay Basco’s Cassandra Cain, one of the most gifted warriors in the DC Comics world. Indications are that Cassandra will find herself pursued by Ewan McGregor’s Black Mask in the movie, and that this could be the catalyst for the formation of the Birds of Prey.
Finally on the heroines front, we get a brief glimpse of someone chugging from a bottle. We can’t be sure as the shot doesn’t show the character's features at all, but this seems likely to be Rosie Perez’s Renee Montaya, one of the few good cops left in Gotham City.
And the baddies
With our heroines all introduced, there’s time for the briefest glance at our villains – brutal crime lord Black Mask and his henchman, the prolific serial killer Victor Zsasz (Chris Messina).
Then, it’s over as quickly as it began, though at least a lipstick kiss-mark and the on-screen message “see you soon” suggests we won’t have to wait too long for some more detail.