This is a surprise. Typically, studios do not release trailers on Thursday or they at least give 24 hours warning. Neither is the case with Warner Bros final trailer for Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Apparently, the trailer has been attached to the upcoming Kristin Stewart thriller, Underwater, which has received mediocre to bad reviews from most critics.
Perhaps the studio is a bit nervous as the film does not seem to be on many fan boys’ and girls’ radars. Cathy Yan’s adaptation of the DC Comics characters reportedly underwent reshoots, which is typical for a film of this budget and genre. Still positive buzz or for that matter, buzz of any kind seems to be sparse.
That said, the trailer is the first that I have seen that actually piques some sort of curiosity. It feels indie, colorful and… experimental. It worked with the Joker, which will probably receive a Best Picture nomination from the Oscars on Monday and it could possibly work here.
We do get to see Ewan McGregor don a comic-accurate Black Mask, the villain of the film. Earlier reports described the mask as an artsy take. And we do get to see Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) unleash her trademark “Canary Cry.” But we don’t see comic-accurate costumes for Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) or Canary.
One thing is for sure, no one will confuse this with a Marvel film and that may be a good thing for DC. Watch below:
I do enjoy seeing one of Harley’s hyenas at the end and the “Bruce” joke does land. The film does seem to really push “girl power” angle, but not as over the top as Elizabeth Banks’ flop, Charlies Angels. But there is not much here to appeal to guys, who do make up much of the CBM fanbase. So, we’ll see in less than a month whether this is a pleasant surprise or something that should be smashed with Harley’s mallet.
Here is the official Warner Bros synopsis for Birds of Prey:
“You ever hear the one about the cop, the songbird, the psycho and the mafia princess? Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is a twisted tale told by Harley herself, as only Harley can tell it. When Gotham’s most nefariously narcissistic villain, Roman Sionis, and his zealous right-hand, Zsasz, put a target on a young girl named Cass, the city is turned upside down looking for her. Harley, Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya’s paths collide, and the unlikely foursome have no choice but to team up to take Roman down.”
Directed by Cathy Yan from a script penned by Bumblebee writer Christina Hodson, Birds of Prey stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz, Ewan McGregor as Black Mask, and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Ali Wong, Robert Catrini, and Michael Masini have also been cast in undisclosed roles.
The film will swoop down on theaters February 7, 2020.
SOURCE: Warner Bros.
The Geek is a working screenwriter, director and UCLA instructor.