Not counting Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, there’s no one more vocal about keeping the DC Extended Universe together than Margot Robbie, who would happily give up a much-sought after role in Pirates of the Caribbean for a chance to make Birds of Prey 2. The Australian actress has been the franchise’s one and only Harley Quinn since David Ayer’s Suicide Squad — and a magnetic one at that — and has been “pestering” Warner Bros. executives left and right about the Mistress of Mayhem and her cinematic future going forward. And while Robbie’s Harley was certainly the breakout star of 2016’s supervillain murder fest, the first movie she headlined, Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey, opened last year to mostly mixed reviews. Todd Phillips’s Scorsesian epic Joker came out the year prior and won Joaquin Phoenix his first ever Academy Award, so one would assume Warner Bros. to have greater expectations for all their comic book properties going forward. Except Birds of Prey grossed $800 million less than Joker, despite operating under a much bigger budget.
The lukewarm audience response sentenced the rest of Harley Quinn’s movie projects to an early death: Gotham Sirens is on hold, Poison Ivy remains cartoon-only as far as adaptations go, and whatever happened to the Joker/Harley beat-em-up viewers were promised is anybody’s guess at this point. And now Birds of Prey 2 is finally belly-up, by the looks of it.
Margot Robbie spoke to Den of Geek once more, this time about Birds of Prey 2, and admits conversation about her one-time solo movie’s future is about as uncertain as the rest of the Snyderverse. “I don’t know if that is on the horizon anytime soon,” she explains. “I don’t think it’s a no. But no, there’s no sequel in the works that I’m aware of at this stage.”
We previously reported the same damning news: Warner Bros. “no longer believes in the concept or in the creative team behind the movie” and has refocused its corporate resources on more profitable assets. Grace Randolph confirmed our scoop saying: “despite Margot Robbie’s dogged efforts at accomplishing otherwise, the 30-year-old no longer has any say on what happens to Harley Quinn from here on out. If Birds of Prey hadn’t tanked at the box office, its sequel would have been rubber-stamped at Warner Bros. the same day Joker 2 was. Unfortunately, life threw a different curveball, and if James Gunn is serious about the kill count in The Suicide Squad, this year may see Robbie finally hanging up Harley Quinn’s twintails — joining Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, David Ayer, and Zack Snyder as among the latest to get axed in Warner Bros.’s attempts to move away from its original vision.”
Birds of Prey 2 may finally be dead in the water, but Harley Quinn is still kicking for the time being. James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is, by all accounts, the spiritual successor to Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) and right now that’s all that matters. The Suicide Squad assembles a new group of microchipped misfits and stars Idris Elba as Bloodsport, John Cena as Peacemaker, Peter Capaldi as the Thinker, David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, Guardians of the Galaxy’s Michael Rooker as Savant, Alice Braga as Sol Soria, Pete Davidson as Blackguard, Nathan Fillion as T.D.K., James Gunn’s brother Sean as Weasel, Flula Borg as Javelin, and Mayling Ng as Mongal, among others. Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, and Viola Davis return as Harley, Rick Flag, and Amanda Waller. Sylvester Stallone voices King Shark. The film releases August 6 in theaters across the United States and digitally on HBO Max. That’ll be the closest we ever get to Birds of Prey 2.