Margot Robbie Aims For A Diverse Cast In BIRDS OF PREY (And How Barbara Gordon Might Fit In)
It really is great that diversity has become something of a rising trend in the entertainment media. Cartoon shows like Steven Universe, Star vs the Forces of Evil and the new DuckTales reboot have all made strides in presenting a more accurate depiction of the people (or ducks) who populate the planet. Margot Robbie is looking to do that with Birds of Prey as well.
It wouldn’t be the first DC film to do so. Right now, Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot are out there working on the set of Wonder Woman 1984, just one year after the success of the trailblazing first film. It is not just movies and television where this is happening either. Over on the music side of entertainment, Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer stands as a top notch pop album celebrating women, people of color and especially one’s own sexuality.
But the thing that can really make strides for a more diverse Hollywood is Cathy Yan’s upcoming DCU film Birds of Prey. As it turns out, Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie actively campaigned for Yan to land the gig, making her the first non-white, female director to helm a DC Comics film. And judging by Robbie’s comments in a recent interview with the UK Movie division over at Yahoo, this is only the beginning for diversity in Birds of Prey. Robbie stated it perfectly: “Yep, yes exactly, real life isn’t so one specific image. We’ve got to reflect that onscreen.”
And while it could very well just be my exhausted brain malfunctioning on me, Robbie’s comment seems to line up eerily well with a new tease on Twitter from Umberto Gonzalez.
“They [Variety] didn’t say that on the record, rather Justin tweeted. Profound difference. Was decided recently no Batgirl. Attention to detail, I didn’t say Barbara Gordon, I said Batgirl.“
Now it’s certainly possible that Barbara Gordon is going to cameo in Birds of Prey and then make her full debut as Batgirl in the reported solo film that’s somewhere out in the horizon. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that were the case, seeing as how Babs is widely recognized as the definitive Batgirl among general audiences.
However, let’s dive into the Speculation Zone for a moment: What if Robbie or someone else involved in the creative table for Birds of Prey was able to convince the rest of the team to have Barbara already be paralyzed and working as one of the most brilliant characters in DC Comics’ history, the Oracle? After all, diversity absolutely extends beyond one’s ethnicity, sexuality and religious beliefs. People of disabilities of any sort need characters to point to for relation and familiarity too.
If Barbara is already the Oracle in the DCU, that could mean a few different possibilities for the Batgirl solo film.
- Barbara will still be the Oracle and either Cassandra Cain or Stephanie Brown will be acting as the new Batgirl under Barbara’s tutelage in the solo film
- The Batgirl film stars Barbara as Batgirl and is a prequel set before she lost the ability to walk
- The Batgirl film is set after Birds of Prey and Barbara returns to the scene as Batgirl after regaining the ability to walk in a manner similar to how the New 52 comics brought Barbara back to the Cape and Cowl
Personally I really love the first option the most, but I am admittedly biased. Whatever the case, this is all speculation on my part. However I do hope this theory is right and that Yan, Robbie and company have opted to further their pursuit of diversity by adapting one of the most wonderful and empowering characters in comic book history to the big screen for Birds of Prey.
If that wasn’t enough, Robbie also mentioned to Yahoo that she was getting a new costume for Birds of Prey, but couldn’t reveal anything about it.
“No, honestly [it’s] because the costumes haven’t been designed yet but yes she’ll have new looks,” the actress confirmed. “There will be new Halloween costumes out there, one day.”
What do you think? Be sure to share your thoughts below in the comments section!