- Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).” Do not read if you haven’t seen the DC movie.
- Insider gathered together plot holes and questions big and small you may have after viewing the latest DC outing with Harley Quinn.
- Was Joker dead in this movie? (No, he was out of town.)
- Was that a real hyena? (No.)
- Is Black Mask one of the best DC Villains yet? (Definitely.)
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“Birds of Prey” is in theatres and while it puts a neat little bow on a side story for Harley Quinn, it also raised a few questions.
What’s going on with the Joker? Is he even still alive after this film? How are Black Mask and Zsasz the only two Batman villains who seem to exist in this version of Gotham City?
Insider breaks down the lingering questions you may have after watching the latest addition to the DCEU. We also included answers where we have them.
Where are all of Gotham’s other villains?
With the Joker gone, Black Mask steps in to proclaim himself the “Godfather of Gotham.”
But are we really meant to believe that the biggest villain in Gotham City to take the Joker’s place is the eccentric mobster Black Mask and his crony, serial killer Zsasz?
If you’re familiar with Batman’s rogues’ gallery, you know Black Mask is, at best, maybe a “C-level” Gotham villain. He doesn’t have any superpowers. He’s just a guy with a mask, some money, and firepower.
Where are Poison Ivy, Bane, Two-Face, the Penguin, Scarecrow, the Riddler, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, Clayface, or any of Batman’s other big nemeses? Are they all on vacation? I’m calling shenanigans. This was the least believable part of “Birds of Prey.”
Is Black Mask the best villain we’ve received from the DC extended universe?
Even though we were wondering where all of Gotham’s other villains were, there’s no denying that Ewan McGregor gave us a fantastic villain with Black Mask.
The previous villains of the DCEU (“Joker” does not count here) have either been dismissively embarrassing (Cara Delevingne’s Enchantress in “Suicide Squad”), confusing (Ciarán Hinds’ Steppenwolf in “Justice League”), a bit silly (Patrick Wilson’s Ocean Master in “Aquaman”) or forgettable (Mark Strong’s Dr. Sivana in “Shazam”).
McGregor takes one of Batman’s more obscure villains and turns him into a character we understand and fear as a psychotic mobster with an elegant flair for the arts.
The only other character who comes close is Michael Shannon as Zod in “Man of Steel.”
Why isn’t the Joker in this film?
Though Leto’s Joker is referenced in “Birds of Prey,” he’s not the film’s main focus. We get the briefest glimpse of him in a flashback and the movie’s better for it.
This is a film that focuses on Harley’s healing and finding her own place in the world. It was never meant to linger on the toxic relationship that negatively impacted her life.
“I don’t think we need Jared. Right? … Just like [Harley] doesn’t need The Joker,” “Birds of Prey” director Cathy Yan told CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell.
Did they ever consider having Joker in this film?
“It was either going to be a complete Harley and Joker story or Joker has got to be out of the picture,” Robbie said at a “Birds of Prey” event recently.
Robbie, who serves as a producer on “Birds of Prey,” told “The View” Tuesday the film has been in the works for years.
“When I was still shooting [2016’s] ‘Suicide Squad’ the first time, that’s when I originally pitched the idea,” said Robbie of how long it has taken for this film to come to theatres.
“Through researching Harley, there were so many more amazing female characters in the DC Universe that we hadn’t seen on screen,” she continued. “Birds of Prey was a particular offshoot of the comics that I fell in love with. I just wanted a girl gang action film on screen. We didn’t have one.”
Where is the Joker? Is he even alive in this film?
Harley Quinn blows up Ace Chemicals, the place where her origin story with the Joker began, early in “Birds of Prey.” At first, it seems like Harley may have taken out the Joker when she did that because afterward, Black Mask decides he’s in charge of Gotham.
Later on, it’s briefly hinted that the Joker is simply not in Gotham during the events of the film, for some unexplained reason. It seems likely he’s not dead – he’s simply out of town.
Why weren’t characters like Poison Ivy and Catwoman in this movie?
For any fans wondering why a DC Universe film focusing on female villains didn’t include two of the most iconic characters – Catwoman and Poison Ivy – it’s because of how famous they were that they were left out of the picture.
Robbie told IGN she wanted to give fans a chance to get to know other DC women on screen as opposed to ones who have already been adapted in the past.
Isn’t Batgirl usually a part of the Birds of Prey?
There is a comic run called “Batgirl and the Birds of Prey.” We don’t have an official Batgirl yet in the DC film universe.
Warner Bros. has been working on a “Batgirl” film for a while with Christina Hodson, who wrote “Birds of Prey,” working on a script.
Maybe the version of Batgirl she’s working on has already been hinted at to viewers.
Who is Cassandra Cain?
In “Birds of Prey” Cain appears to be any old teen, but in the comics, she plays a pretty big role in the Batverse.
There are a few versions of the character in the comics, but fans have recently known her as the fourth iteration of Batgirl. She has also gone by the name Black Bat, but we’re into seeing her become an eventual Batgirl.
We know she’s teamed up with Harley Quinn at the end of “Birds of Prey,” but wouldn’t it be fantastic if Cain eventually becomes Quinn’s ultimate foe? It would be a very Batman/Joker relationship.
What’s up with all those scars on Victor Zsasz?
“Birds of Prey” makes the assumption you’re familiar with this DC villain. If you’re not, you may be wondering why he keeps cutting off people’s faces and showing Harley Quinn his body covered in scars.
Zsasz is a famous Batman serial killer who puts a tally mark on himself any time he kills someone. It’s a way to keep count of all the people he has murdered. While there has to be an easier way to keep track, it does explain all the marks on his body.
Was Margot Robbie acting alongside a real hyena?
No, though it’s not all CGI either.
Bruce, named after Bruce Wayne (aka Batman), is actually a giant dog that Robbie was acting with. But the team did consider using a real hyena from California at one point.
“Turns out, it was going to be impossible to shoot with him because they’re extremely dangerous and take ownership of anything they touch,” Robbie told Comicbook.com.
“Ultimately, we had a really big dog. Its fur was CGI’d and body shape was CGI’d to look like a hyena,” added Robbie. “The alternative is to have a dude in a green suit and that’s often weird.”
Are we getting a sequel or a spinoff?
We need to wait to see how the film does at the box office, but Jurnee Smollett-Bell seems ready to share more of her character Dinah Lance aka Black Canary with the world.
In an interview with Digital Spy, the actress said it would be incredible to see a spinoff with her character.
“I’m in love with Black Canary, and I’m in love with the DC world,” Smollett-Bell told Digital Spy. “So you know, whatever happens with ‘Birds of Prey,’ it’s like I’m living the dream.”
There’s certainly more room left to be explored with Huntress, Renee Montoya, and especially Black Canary’s character.
We only get to see Lance show off her power of the canary cry once in the film. There’s a lot to expand on in the future with the character’s mysterious past.
Should we expect to see more of Harley Quinn in the future? What’s next?
Robbie has also been working on James Gunn’s upcoming “The Suicide Squad,” which isn’t supposed to be a complete reboot of the 2016 film.
Before that movie comes to theatres in 2021, we’ll get to see Gal Gadot reprise her role as Wonder Woman in this summer’s sequel.