The DC Extended Universe can’t point to too many bright spots. One huge bright spot was Margot Robbie’s outstanding turn as Harley Quinn in the otherwise poorly-received Suicide Squad. Plans to bring Robbie and Harley Quinn back launched as soon as the weekend numbers for Suicide Squad. Plans to bring Robbie and Harley Quinn back launched as soon as the weekend numbers for Suicide Squad’s box office rolled in. Suicide Squad’s box office rolled in. Harley Quinn does return in the all-women hero and anti-hero ensemble film Birds of Prey. Interestingly, Robbie notes the film may carry an R-rating. If so, this would make Birds of Prey the first DCEU film geared directly towards an adult audience.
Birds of Prey would bring together characters such as Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Black Canary, and others. Harley Quinn, of course, takes center stage since this would be a Robbie vehicle.
At present, no confirmation exists that the film will receive an R-rating. Robbie, however, wants the film to carry the “restricted” moniker. The entire idea of a Birds of Prey adaptation comes from Robbie. Instead of pushing for other planned projects such as a solo Harley Quinn feature or a Joker/Harley Quinn team-up, Robbie was most intrigued by the Birds of Prey concept. Apparently, she is a fan of the comic book series.
The risks of releasing an R-rated comic book movie might not be too significant. Deadpool performed tremendously well carrying the rating. Logan also earned massive box office as well. Those features were produced by Fox. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, has not — and likely will not — produce an R-rated superhero movie.
Warner Bros. is crafting an R-rated Joker origin movie, but the feature won’t be part of the DCEU. The Joker project intends to be closer to the crime genre than a straight super-villain tale. The DCEU sticks to the PG-13 formula.
One problem with DCEU projects involves attempts to make gritty, serious superhero films while trying to capture a bit of Marvel’s whimsy. The disjointed approach — combined with equally disjointed studio order reshoots and edits — harmed several films. Going in the direction of a totally R-rated film might be what the DCEU needs: something completely different. The current strategy at DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. isn’t really working. Maybe Robbie has the right idea here.