Birds of Prey scripts

The girls in Margot Robbie‘s Harley Quinn girl gang movie has been revealed. Reports say that the Birds of Prey line-up will include Black Canary, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, and Renee Montoya, plus a Batman comics villain who has never before appeared on the big screen.

The Wrap has reports that the Harley Quinn solo film directed by Cathy Yan and penned by Christina Hodson has finalized its line-up. That line-up includes Black Canary, a character with an ultrasonic scream; Gotham vigilante Helena Bertinelli, AKA the Huntress; assassin-turned-Batgirl Cassandra Cain; and Gotham detective Renee Montoya.

Let’s do a brief rundown of each of the characters who will appear in the Birds of Prey movie.

Black Canary

Known as Dinah Laurel Lance, Black Canary boasts skilled hand-to-hand fighting skills and a killer scream — literally. Her power is known as the “canary cry,” a high-powered sonic scream which could shatter objects and incapacitate enemies — even incapacitating the all-powerful Superman. Black Canary is probably the best known of all the Birds of Prey superheroes to people outside the comics: she has appeared multiple times on the small screen in the Arrow TV series, various animated series, and the failed 2002 WB Birds of Prey series (alongside Barbara Gordan and Huntress). She’s probably the most popular in the comics as well, having headlined her own acclaimed title series. Though she’s somewhat annoyingly been tied to Green Arrow for much of her history, Black Canary is a tough fighter and a born leader — and likely will be the de facto leader in Birds of Prey.

The Wrap reports that the film version of Black Canary comes from a “family of crime fighters,” and is actually the second Black Canary after her mother. Her father Larry Lance is a Gotham police officer.

The Huntress

Helena Bertinelli is another Gotham City vigilante who is part of the original Birds of Prey line-up. Her character’s origins are often muddled, but usually she’s an ultraviolent mafia princess who becomes a crossbow-wielding vigilante. Her origin in the comics has been rebooted several times — my favorite iteration was when she became a suave Spyral agent in the New 52 — but for now, she’s back to being a mafia princess seeking revenge for her family.

It’s unknown which origin the movie will go with — the mafia revenge one, the super-spy one, or the Bruce Wayne’s secret daughter one — but it’ll be exciting to see this powerful female Gotham hero grace the big screen.

Cassandra Cain

Cassandra Cain! The newest and most unknown Batgirl, Cassandra Cain is a fan-favorite character and a high-profile Asian character in the DC Comics. Cassandra has never before been part of the Birds of Prey, but she is an established figure in the Batman comics canon, introduced in 1999 and rising to such fan-favorite status that she became the first Batgirl to star in her own ongoing Batgirl comic book series.

The daughter of assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva, Cassandra is trained to be the world’s greatest assassin, but ends up mute, illiterate, and with limited social skills. She’s eventually taken under Barbara Gordon’s wing and is accepted into the Batfamily — taking on the mantle of Batgirl after Barbara. When Stephanie Brown takes on the Batgirl cowl, she changes her name to Black Bat. Cassandra Cain is the definition of the small, silent, and deadly waif who looks utterly vulnerable before cutting a bloody swath across town. But she is one of the most underrated Batman characters and one of the few Asian heroes in the DC Comics. That she is going to make her feature film debut before the most popular Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, is amazing. But Barbara is soon getting her own solo movie also penned by Christina Hodson, so I’m guessing she won’t mind.

Renee Montoya

A detective at the Gotham City Police Department, Renee Montoya is another periphery Batman character who has risen to fan-favorite status thanks to appearances in TV (she’s a recurring character in Gotham) and in the comics. Just like Harley Quinn, she was created for the Batman: The Animated Series, and moved onto the comics, where she became a central member of the Gotham Central series. It was in Gotham Central that Renee is outed as a lesbian, and her character goes on to become one of the most popular LGBT characters in the Batman comics, especially when she begins appearing in the Batwoman comics. The New 52 even gave her a costumed identity briefly, taking on the mantle of The Question, but that was quickly retconned. Otherwise, she’s the only non-hero character in Birds of Prey so far, which begs the question of whether she’ll be part of the team or if she’ll play the Commissioner Gordon-type role in the film.

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Margot Robbie, who is starring in and producing Birds of Prey, has been insistent that the Harley Quinn spin-off film be an “R-rated girl gang” movie, allowing the famous Batman villain to bounce off other superheroes and villains.

But the Birds of Prey title was always an intriguing choice, as Harley was never a part of the superhero team in the comics. In the comics, the main Birds of Prey line-up consists of Black Canary, Huntress, Oracle/Batgirl, and Lady Blackhawk, with dozens of other female and male superheroes occasionally joining the roster. Warner Bros. seems to be taking its cues from the main Birds of Prey team — with a few twists. It seems like Cassandra Cain, who has become a fan-favorite character in the Batman comics, takes over Barbara Gordon’s slot as the Batgirl of the team, while Renee Montoya, who has become a prolific Batman-adjacent LGBT character in both TV and the comics, may be taking over Lady Blackhawk’s slot.

Birds of Prey has no set release date yet.

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