Bleats

The Silly, Absurdly Long Full Title Of The Birds Of Prey Film Sure Makes It Seem Like It's Going To Be All About Harley Quinn

Birds Of pray tell, why would you do this to yet another lady-led superhero movie?

Margot Robbie’s take on Batman villain Harley Quinn somehow managed to transcend the s**tshow that was Suicide Squad, thanks to a combination of Robbie’s bratty, vulnerable charm and a trailer park babydoll take on the character design that was iconic before the movie even opened.

Now she’s leading a new film starring some of the female (anti-)heroes of the DC universe. Birds Of Prey is a long-running series originally focused on Black Canary (Green Arrow’s pal Dinah Laurel Lance) and Oracle (Barbara Gordon, Batman’s favourite hacker) – except now it’s actually all about Harley Quinn, of course.

Look at this hot mess.

Yes, that’s the real title: Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn).

And… ugh.

“Fantabulous” is the kind of non-word you usually see on your aunt’s Facebook ads for handcrafted fairy-themed Christmas decorations.

And the faux-old-fashioned super-long title is a really tired trope, not to mention a bigger pain in the arse than the Justice League fanboys who petition Rotten Tomatoes to take down negative reviews. We have to type that whole monstrosity out? We’re not even out of the whole Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them 2 The Crimes Of Grindelwald Oh God I Need A Nap Just From Reading The Title news cycle yet.

This movie is almost certainly only getting made because Wonder Woman destroyed at the box office, convincing DC that people will actually go and see movies that don’t star primarily men.

Female-led superhero movies already have a hard enough time at the box office – why saddle this one with a title that’s exhausting just to read?

Don’t get me wrong – the cast rules (Mary Elizabeth “Ramona Flowers” Winstead, Jurnee Smollett, Rosie Perez and Ewan McGregor as the villain, Black Mask) and it could still be absolutely killer. Some of my favourite movies have absolutely rubbish titles. (Shout out to Edge Of Tomorrow.)

This is just the kind of early sign that doesn’t fill us with hope.

Margot Robbie’s Producing An Aussie Feminist Shakespeare Series For The ABC, Hopefully Featuring Ophelia Telling Hamlet To Rack Off

In Margot Robbie's feminist utopia, the shrew tames YOU.

Margot Robbie has announced that her production company, LuckyChap, will produce a ten-part anthology series for the ABC, retelling Shakespeare plays from the perspective of the female characters.

Robbie is at the top of her game right now, coming off an Oscar nomination for I, Tonya – which LuckyChap produced as well.

In fact, Robbie’s said repeatedly that she wouldn’t have got the part of Tonya Harding if she hadn’t been a producer and made it happen herself. (Starting a production company is a slightly harder way to get stuff done than kneecapping your competition with a tyre iron, but ultimately more effective.)

So it’s a legend move to direct that power back into the Australian screen industry right now. And what’s more, Robbie says the series will be led by all-female creative teams and she’ll be seeking out up-and-comers to work on each installment.

“I’m taking a lot of meetings with the lesser-known talent at the moment, the indie film-makers, first- and second-time film-makers, mainly women,” Robbie said. “I’m in a lovely position where I can actually help get things greenlit so I want to work with people who we haven’t seen yet.”

If she wants to get a few big names on board, though, she probably won’t be short on volunteers – the announcement perked up some famous ears, including Tessa Thompson and Stranger Things’ Shannon Purser (AKA Barb).

Interestingly, Disney has reportedly snagged the global distribution deal – meaning that the series could be part of the studio’s new streaming service offering, alongside Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series.

No word yet on which plays will be getting the modern-day treatment, but from the announcement, it seems it’ll go in some surprising directions.

“The project will share diverse points of view, from writers representing the different cultures and areas within Australia, which many would not readily associate with works of Shakespeare,” said a statement from LuckyChap.

But as any high school drama teacher knows, there are a few stories in the Shakespeare canon that lend themselves well to talking about some of the Big Issues in Aussie society – from Othello’s ready-made racial tensions to the evergreen “Romeo & Juliet but he’s [black/Christian/a Collingwood supporter] and she’s [white/Muslim/a rational human being with standards]!”

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