It has now been 48 hours since The Hollywood Reporter revealed Warner Bros. is officially moving forward on the long-rumored Harley Quinn team-up movie. Contrary to earlier rumors, the source material will not be Birds of Prey but instead Gotham City Sirens, Paul Dini and artist Guillem March 2009 team-up book which put Harley, Poison Ivy and Catwoman together for shits and giggles. Or at least Gotham City Sirens is what they’re going to call the movie. Who the heck knows what Geneva Robertson-Dworet, the young screenwriter currently attached to the project, will actually do with this. She’ll be working under the direction of Margot Robbie, who spearheaded the project and will serve as producer in addition to reprising her role as Harley, and David Ayer, the Suicide Squad director who will direct this as well because after a major film studio thoroughly screws you over in post the first thing you want to do is go work with them again (got to love Hollywood).
This feels like the kind of pop culture story I should write about. After all, I’ve already written about my personal Harley Quinn fandom, and aired my immense hatred for Suicide Squad. I’m already on record as believing WB should simply make a lighthearted, irreverent solo Harley Quinn movie in line with the current Jimmy Palmiotti/Amanda Conner comics that have been so central to the character’s recent explosion in popularity. Harley Quinn is the Deadpool of the DC Universe, and should be treated as such. Insisting on a team-up misunderstands the key to her popularity, but, fine, I like what I’ve seen of Sirens. That could make for a fun movie. I’ve also written multiple articles about the lack of female representation in Hollywood, both in front of and behind the screen.
And here we are. WB is making a Gotham City Sirens movie. It’s going to be written and co-produced by a woman. There will likely be three women as the primary protagonists, again proving that WB’s DC film universe is at least progressing far faster than Marvel’s in one key area (but, hey, at least Captain Marvel still has its 2019 release date).The things which everyone thought needed to happen after Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad – remove Zack Snyder from power, put someone more like Kevin Feige in charge, delay Justice League 2, prioritize a solo Batman movie and some kind of Harley Quinn movie – are all actually happening (e.g., Geoff Johns is in charge, Snyder’s being pushed aside, etc.). WB is trying to course correct by giving audiences more of the stuff they unanimously liked in BvS and Squad.
Yay! Quick, let’s all go crazy with casting suggestions, maybe get super stalkery in hacking Megan Fox’s comic book purchase history to determine she might be reading up on very specific Harley Quinn issues in anticipation of auditioning to play Poison Ivy in this movie. Oh, wait, Bleeding Cool already did that. Not creepy at all, Bleeding Cool. Maybe someone should make a convincing argument that Anne Hatheway should play Catwoman. Oh, wait. THR’s got that covered. How about an essay arguing this Sirens projects absolutely must feature Harley standing up to The Joker and reclaiming personal agency, if only so that Suicide Squad fans will stop posting non-ironic statements to social media about hoping to someday have someone look at them the same way Joker looks at Harley. Damn, THR’s got that too.
See, it’s pointless coming to this story 48 hours after the fact. The currency of the internet is now. Enterprising fans have already unleashed a flood of their own concept art (e.g., here’s what Megan Fox would look like as Poison Ivy). I can’t do that. I can’t draw. I haven’t read every single Gotham City Sirens issue. As such, I can’t regurgitate a Wikipedia-like listing of potential storylines for the movie. And I honestly don’t go in for fan casting of major movies because we’re almost always so very wrong, and casting directors get paid a lot of money to do their jobs and make fantastically inventive choices.
So, really, what the heck am I doing here? Oh, the usual – re-stating the same thing I said after watching the latest Wonder Woman trailer: WB’s DC film universe does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. They don’t deserve our fandom, money, obsessive reporting…whatever you want to call it. Ever since Christopher Nolan left for good after at least shepherding Man of Steel into production, WB has made two unbelievably terrible DC movies which not only fundamentally misunderstood the involved characters (both in BvS and Squad) but also simply failed as movies. I know that’s such a film nerd thing to say. I’m just some elitist who’s maybe aged out of this kind of entertainment, leaving me clearly out of touch with the 64-65% of RottenTomatoe readers who actually liked Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. If we can’t as a people demand a better leader than Donald Trump than why should I seriously believe we really care to demand better superhero movies.
But BvS and Squad are both so, so, so, so bad.
Yeah, but doesn’t Megan Fox look so hot as Poison Ivy?
Maybe Sirens will be good. Maybe it won’t. It’s certainly alarming to hear THR describe WB as having Sirens on the fast-track meaning the studio is potentially repeating the same mistakes which led to Suicide Squad‘s creative failings (it, too, was fast-tracked and written as quickly as possible, and it shows). However, until Wonder Woman or Justice League or something else comes along from WB and turns out to actually be a legitimately good movie they don’t deserve an ounce of good will from us.