By Vanessa Rupertus and Erin Caine

Elm Staff Writer, Lifestyle Editor

While DC Films has suffered no shortage of flak from superhero fans for sub-par adaptations, the company seems to be gearing up to—with any luck—break the cycle.

The film “Birds of Prey,” to be released Feb. 7, 2020, promises to be a refreshing take on the “dream team” formula already popularized by Marvel’s “Avengers” franchise.

Robbie will reprise her role as the chaotic Harley Quinn for the film. The character has had a veritable cult following since her first appearance in “Batman: The Animated Series” in 1992.

Harley, having finally left the Joker behind, will team up with other skilled and powerful women from the DC Universe.

The film, directed by Cathy Yan, is a spin-off of “Suicide Squad,” released in 2016. Due to the latter’s impressively bad reviews from critics and audiences, DC fans are reasonably tentative about any kind of continuation of the franchise.

Hopefully, Yan will breathe new life into a franchise Vanity Fair called “uninspired” and “clunky.” Robbie was reportedly adamant that a woman be in the director’s chair this time around.

Critics praised Yan’s 2018 film, the dark comedy “Dead Pigs,” Variety calling it a “sprawling, bouncing, jaunty debut” that’s “effervescent as an Alka-Seltzer.”

In an interview with Bustle, Yan talked about the lack of “role models” in the directing world, “especially women of color, especially when [she] was growing up, especially Asian women.”

She added that directing “wasn’t anything [she] dreamt or thought about” for that reason.

Yan is the second woman (after Patty Jenkins) to direct for DC, and the first Asian woman to direct any Hollywood superhero film.

“Birds of Prey,” based off the comic of the same name, follows Harley as she attempts to protect a young girl named Cassandra Cain (who later becomes the superhero Batgirl) from the crime lord, Black Mask, and save Gotham City in Batman’s absence.

To accomplish this, she joins forces with the likes of Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez).

Cassandra will be played by Ella Jay Basco, with Ewan McGregor as the film’s big bad, Black Mask.

Robbie’s return to the role is no surprise to anyone. Her performance was one of the few things about “Suicide Squad” that critics enjoyed.

Christopher Orr of the Atlantic said, “Robbie is genuinely terrific as Harley Quinn, earning the movie’s best lines and nailing almost every one of them.”

Many fans intend to watch the upcoming movie purely for Robbie’s performance, though “Suicide Squad” has already proven that talented actors (like Will Smith and Viola Davis) can’t save poor writing.

DC Films and Warner Bros. Pictures hopes to change fan’s minds about what they’re capable of.

The upcoming release is the eighth film in the DC Expanded Universe.

Fans hope that “Birds of Prey” will properly and faithfully portray the characters from the comics, something that DC Films has had trouble doing in the past.

The Elm

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