Birds of Prey’s colorful aesthetic is ripped right out of the world of comics, but the tack the movie takes with its comic book characters treads a fine line between respecting decades worth of stories and, in some cases, bringing new takes to the table. It was an opportunity that, for its stars, meant a chance to highlight its female anti-heroes in some new, intriguing ways.
Driven by Margot Robbie’s desire as an actress and as a producer to bring a female-fronted team to life at DC, Birds of Prey takes some liberties in its interpretations of comic book stalwarts like Cassandra Cain or the Birds of Prey themselves as a team. After all, Harley Quinn herself is not typically a character associated with them in the comics, and Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Oracle, is a founding member nowhere to be found in this cinematic adaptation.
But as the cast told io9 at Birds of Prey’s world premiere press junket in London, England, that freedom to honor, but not be beholden by, the team’s legacy in the comics meant the film could focus on highlighting characters rarely championed on screen.
“From a business point of view, I thought there was a gap in the market for a female ensemble action film,” Robbie told io9. “There’s so many incredible female DC characters that we haven’t met yet that I was introduced to through the comics, and we hadn’t seen them on screen. So I thought there was an opportunity there, and the Birds of Prey as a platform could be a great launchpad to bring in so many different characters.”
Check out more of Robbie’s thoughts, as well as how Ella Jay Basco approached playing a very different Cassandra Cain and how Jurnee Smollett-Bell wanted to bring Dinah Lance’s comics history to the table, in our video interview above (captions are included).
Birds of Prey is in theaters now.
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