Birds of Prey 2 Happening, But They’re Ditching Margot Robbie?

Could Birds of Prey 2 happen without Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn?

By Tyler Pisapia | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

margot robbie harley quinn

After almost two years and, let’s face it, a supremely botched rollout, DC fans may finally get the sequel to Birds of Prey that they were hoping for — provided they were hoping that it would not include Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. When the film first hit theaters in that brief pre-pandemic period of 2020, it absolutely bombed at the box office. However, it was given a bit of life when the studio offered a title change that put Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn character front-and-center. However, she could only get the movie because she was introduced in the fan-maligned Suicide Squad by David Ayer. Although the character got some new life by way of James Gunn’s take-two on the Suicide Squad franchise, new rumors indicate that Warner Bros. won’t rely on her star power for a Birds of Prey sequel. 

According to a report from The Hashtag Show, the studio is moving forward with a sequel to Birds of Prey that will act more as a vehicle for Batgirl rather than yet another turn for Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. This would explain why Margot Robbie indicated in a recent interview with Den of Geek that a sequel isn’t in the works. It may be that she’s simply not a part of it. 

Instead, Jurnee Smollett’s Black Canary will reportedly act as the connective tissue between the sequel and the original. It makes sense given that, in July 2020 Smollett made it clear to Entertainment Weekly that she would be on board to reprise her role in the DC Extended Universe at the drop of a hat. That’s not to say that other members of the Birds of Prey team aren’t going to return. Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Huntress and Rosie Perez’s Renee Montoya were floated in the alleged outline that’s out there. However, it seems Black Canary will be the big character replacing Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn as the lead.

Then again, the movie could also seek to act as a standalone adventure to get fans hyped for Leslie Grace as Batgirl the way the first one did for Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn after a somewhat disappointing showcase in Suicide Squad. Deadline reported in July that the In the Heights actress had been tapped to play Barbara Gordon in a standalone Batgirl film that will debut exclusively on HBO Max. Perhaps a Birds of Prey sequel is a way for the studio to hedge its bets on such a profoundly important character as Batgirl by giving Leslie Grace two opportunities to win over the hearts of fans like Margot Robbie received. 

leslie grace batgirl

According to the report from The Hashtag Show, there aren’t too many concrete plot details right now. The film, despite allegedly being greenlit by Warner Bros., is still in the very early stages of development, without even a script. However, an outline teases the DC Comics villain The Calculator, with a 3rd act appearance from his robot assassin creation, Burnrate. The character is somewhat obsessed with Batgirl in the comics the way The Black Mask was preoccupied with Margot Robbie’s character.

Anyone who watched the original Birds of Prey movie is likely to say that it was a perfectly fine movie if not a sleeper hit within the DC Extended Universe. After all, there have certainly been worse movies to come out of the franchise (yes, I’m looking at you Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice — and don’t get too big for your britches over there in the corner Justice League, Snyder Cut or otherwise!). So, while the loss of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn will certainly be felt, perhaps it’s time to give some more inside baseball DC Comics characters a shot at the big time.