Margot Robbie’s upcoming Harley Quinn spin-off Birds of Prey has the lowest budget of any DCEU movie to date. What does that mean exactly? It’s tough to say without having seen any footage yet, but it’s a bit telling when it comes to the overall strategy being employed by Warner Bros. and DC Films in the wake of Justice League. What we know for sure is this won’t be some $200 million city-destroying mega-spectacle.
This comes as part of a new profile on Margot Robbie, who has also been working hard as a producer through her company LuckyChap Entertainment. Robbie is involved as a producer on Birds of Prey, or Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), for those who would like to stick with the much longer, official title. As part of the profile, it was revealed that the movie comes with a budget of just $75 million. That is far lower than that of the early Zack Snyder directed DCEU movies and even lower than Shazam, which was released earlier this year and was made for $100 million. That was the previous record holder. So this is the first movie in this universe to be made for under nine figures.
What does this tell us? Birds of Prey, as directed by Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs), is probably going to be a bit smaller in scope than something like Suicide Squad. But that also allows for the creative team to take some risks. The movie is said to have been pitched as an R-rated, female-led comic book movie, which is something we’ve really never seen before. Margot Robbie, for her part, feels that a PG action movie would run the risk of being labeled as a chick flick.
“I think there’s a perception that a PG female-led action film is kind of considered a chick flick.”
What we know for sure is Birds of Prey will bring Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Black Canary ( Jurnee Smollett-Bell) into the fold. They will team up with Harley Quinn in order to take down Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) in Gotham City. Batman apparently won’t be in the picture. However, Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), one of the figures in the world of DC Comics who eventually takes up the mantle of Batgirl, will be a factor, with the trio of main characters having to protect her from Black Mask and his goons. Rosie Perez is also on board as Renee Montoya, a member of the Gotham City PD.
The lower budget for Birds of Prey alleviates some pressure, which is key. At that price point, it doesn’t need to make absurd money at the box office to be a success. Whereas something like Justice League, which is said to have cost nearly $300 million after reshoots, needed to make a lot more than the $657 million it pulled in to be a hit. Birds of Prey is set to hit theaters on February 7, 2020. This news was first reported by Vogue.