If Marvel and Warner Bros’ recent approach to comic book movies have been anything to go by, comic book moves should be big family-friendly affairs. And give the amount of money the likes of Marvel and the more recent DCEU entries has made, it’s hard not to argue that their approach has paid off. Of course, Joker, Deadpool, and Logan have also shown that there is a market for a more mature, R-rated spin on comic book characters. Joker blew away all expectations as it earned over $1 billion. And as we know money talks and it appears that Warner Bros is indeed listening to what it has to say.
The studio is looking to embrace their dark side as according to IMDb, the upcoming Birds of Prey movie – or more specifically Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) – has been given an R rating for “strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material.” Given that Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn actually forms part of their bigger DCEU and this isn’t a standalone movie like Joker, it will be the first theatrically released entry in the franchise to be R-rated (the home-release Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman also earned an R-rating). This could perhaps be a sign of things to come as the studio looks to embrace a different style of filmmaking from the usual comic book blueprint.
It’s maybe a little too early to say that I guess, given its just one movie, but it is surprising nonetheless that the studio appears prepared to take more risks with its comic book characters. Though given that Harley Quinn and the rest of her posse – Helena Bertinelli aka Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Dinah Laurel Lance aka Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) – are all anti-heroes of sorts, it certainly does make sense. The film’s box office projections are also the lowest for any DC movie made thus far, so perhaps also represent the least risk for them to make a movie like this.
Warner Bros has been struggling with their DC movies and finding a consistent tone for them. So hopefully these risks pay off and help them figure out exactly where they want to go with these films.
Birds of Prey is set to release on Feb 7th, 2020.
Last Updated: December 19, 2019