“Birds of Prey” has been out for three weeks and its clear that – at least critically – it’s another successful entry in the DCEU. There is no denying that recently, DC Films has been on a winning streak; putting past failures and misguided attempts at a cinematic universe behind them for good. Honestly, the results speak for themselves.
However, there are two sides to every coin in the business of movie-making: Critical Reception and Box Office. “Birds of Prey” has fulfilled one of the two needs for a sequel; positive reviews. Unfortunately, its box office run has been nothing short of underwhelming for Harley Quinn and her gang. You’re now going to see the endless clickbait articles from people who were rooting against this movie from the start. It’s not like they have any merit. These morons are ultimately the loud minority and aren’t worth your time. So do yourself a favor, don’t give it to them.
This is not the end of the world for the Harley Quinn spinoffs and there is a good chance that Warner Brothers will press forward with “Gotham City Sirens”. Its not only the right thing to do, but it will show the industry that WB is confident in DC Films; despite one box office hiccup. “Birds of Prey” is a film worth talking about and a film deserves that much needed sequel. Here are the five reasons Warner Brothers needs to greenlight a “Gotham City Sirens” movie.
1. The Positive Reviews and Critical Success
This is the most obvious reason: the vast majority of “Birds of Prey” reviews have been positive.
It’s currently Certified Fresh at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes with over 350 reviews submitted. It also holds a 79% verified audience rating, which means critics and audiences both agree that this is a darn good movie. Additionally, the film holds a 60 Rating on Metacritic, which for a comic book movie is very good. Now if anyone says that Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes don’t matter, just remember, “Joker” has a 68% on RT and a 59 on Metacritic. While “Avengers: Infinity War” has a 85% and 68 rating.
Don’t be a hypocritical fanboy where you pick and choose when reviews matter and when they don’t.
Warner Brothers and DC Films continue to build good will with audiences by simply making good movies and allowing directors to create the visions they want. A far cry from where they were in 2016. Not only that, but the fans who love this movie are extremely vocal about it and we can see this movie developing a huge following. Audiences will show up for a sequel, especially since the stink of 2016’s “Suicide Squad” is slowing being washed away for good.
2. The Potential of The Harley/Ivy/Joker Love Triangle
Anyone who has picked up a Harley Quinn comic knows all about the Joker/Harley relationship. Spoiler: it’s not exactly a Prince Charming fairy tale story. Their love is toxic and the definition of abusive companionship, so it makes sense why so many gravitate towards the character of Harley Quinn. Many women have been there, they have had to deal with endless abuse with no escape in sight. But sometimes, that special someone comes along to save them. For Harley Quinn, that special someone is Poison Ivy.
Margot Robbie has stated that she would love to bring in Poison Ivy for the sequel and we couldn’t be more excited.
Not only is Poison Ivy a unique character but the Harley/Ivy relationship represents women taking a stand against the toxicity of abusive men. This is a story that deserves to be told because not only would the plot of Joker/Harley/Ivy sell itself (if told right), it could be a watershed moment for highlighting domestic abuse; as well as showing why it’s so difficult to leave toxic relationships for good.
Harley is doing good for herself at the end of “Birds of Prey” and if DC Universe’s “Harley Quinn Show” has told us anything, it’s that the Joker does not like Harley succeeding without him. This story has limitless potential and will raise many engaging questions: Does Harley break away from the Joker for good? Will Joker manipulate her to come back to him? Will Ivy show her that he is no good for her and help her find true love? This is a story that deserves its time to shine. Not just for the comic book genre, but for all who struggle to let go of the things that hurt them most.
3. An Opportunity For Recasting and Universe Connectivity
It’s no secret that audiences were not kind to Jared Leto’s version of the Joker. So for those who have seen “Birds of Prey”, even though the Joker is there, they never do show his face. Now this is bigger than people realize because it opens the door for a recasting; sorry Leto fans but it’s true. It’s very clear that Warner Brothers is moving on from Leto Joker and if the success of Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker” has taught us anything, it’s that the character of Joker sells.
WB wants a new Joker in this universe, especially since “Joker 2” is extremely unlikely. Fans don’t want it and Phoenix has made it clear that he didn’t want to be stuck in a franchise. So what better way to win audiences over than to fix the mistake that was Leto Joker?
In addition (and this isn’t a crazy idea) “Gotham City Sirens” could provide connectivity to Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman; connecting Robert Pattinson’s Batman as well. Now this may cause some confusion continuity-wise, but if “Days of Future Past” could work, so can “Gotham City Sirens”. People forget that “The Flash” movie is adapting the Flashpoint story-line and time travel will be involved. *Hint Hint* *Wink Wink* connecting Kravitz Catwoman and Margot Harley may not be as difficult as some people think.
The idea of having the Gotham City Sirens go up against the Joker is a money making idea that is begging to be seen. Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Catwoman and Joker in the same movie? Sign us up and take our money!
4. The Underwhelming Box Office Was Not The Movies Fault.
Ever since the success of “Wonder Woman”, DC Films as a whole has been on a three year winning streak.
Yes, “Justice League” was a failure, but a necessary failure that gave WB the kick in the pants it needed. Executives were fired, the creative committee was disbanded and Walter Hamada was brought in to clean up the mess. Ironically, the failure of “Justice League” paved the way for a better and brighter future for DC Films. Every DC film since 2018 has ether been a critical darling or a Billion dollar blockbuster. This is why WB needs to stay the course with the Harley movies, even though “Birds of Prey” may barely break even.
Why? Because “Birds of Prey” is a fantastic film that was failed by its misguided marketing, that’s why.
Now a lot of people are going to blame the R rating because it cut out Harley Quinn’s core fan base of teenage girls from seeing the film. Making “Gotham City Sirens” PG-13 would be a welcomed compromise if that’s what it takes to get the movie made. However, that does not let the marketing off the hook. The marketing team knew that this movie was going to be Rated R and it was up to them to sell this movie to a broader audience.
Where was the viral marketing? Where were the red band trailers to sell this movie as an R-Rated romp? Why were the trailers catering to an audience who couldn’t see this film? Yes, hindsight is always 20/20 but the marketing team had all the tools to see that marketing the movie towards the middle and high school crowds was going to be a mistake. These amazing actresses got to tell the story they wanted and they shouldn’t have to suffer because of the marketing teams missteps.
5. The Passion That Margot Robbie Has For Harley Quinn
If there’s something that’s a rarity in Hollywood, it’s the level of dedication and passion someone has for one character. For Margot Robbie, that character is Harley Quinn.
“Birds of Prey” was her passion project, something that she held close to her heart and fought for its creation. You can see it in her performance. Harley Quinn was bursting with energy, excitement and dedication that you rarely see in comic book films. In a time where you have people like Martin Scorsese and Jodie Foster writing these films off as “not cinema”; along came Margot Robbie to slam her hand on table and say “yes, comic book films mean something”.
Comic book films stand for something, even if “Old Hollywood” views them as nothing more than “men in tights”. People like Margot Robbie, Henry Cavill, and director James Gunn show that these films connect to millions. Not everything needs to be “Casablanca” or “Taxi Driver”. Films like “Birds of Prey”, “Shazam” and “Wonder Woman” have deep themes of family, finding oneself, and feminism but are just as exciting and entertaining as they are thought-provoking and important.
Anyone who says otherwise is wrong and in the end, isn’t that what cinema is all about?
Bottom line, “Birds of Prey” is a passion-filled cinematic experience and a wonderful addition to the comic book movie genre. Very rarely does a film like this come along and we implore Warner Brothers to take a short at one more film. Please WB, don’t let the underwhelming box office results short sight the limitless potential of future Harley Quinn movies. There was simply too much hard work and dedication put in not to try at least one more time. Margot Robbie fought to create something special and her endless drive for success needs to be rewarded.
That reward is “Gotham City Sirens”.