Harley Christmas everyone. The female-led follow-up to Suicide Quad which has Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie as a driving force behind it now has a name and a director: Suicide Squad helmer David Ayer will be calling the shots on Gotham City Sirens.
Gotham City Sirens is actually an existing DC comics title, launched in 2009, which mainly features the Dark Knight’s per-eminent female foes Harley, Catwoman and Poison Ivy, teaming up to cause mischief in Batman’s home city. The producers have not confirmed if the film will feature exactly the same line-up as the comic, but it seems fairly likely, with possibly some additions. So, let the fantasy casting commence. Previously, when Robbie said she had been working on all-female DC project it was assumed that she was referring to Birds Of Prey so this Sirens news is a pleasant surprise.
We’re slightly surprised too to see that Ayer has been chosen as director, but only because Gotham City Sirens is proving so progressive in all other areas. It’s not just starring women, but Margot Robbie was very keen to bring in a female scriptwriter. Geneva Robertson-Dworet, who has also worked on the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot and Sherlock Holmes 3, is named as scriptwriter in the latest release, while Christina Hodson (Transformers; Bumblebee) has also previously been linked to the project. Plus, once again, the DC movie universe is outpacing Marvel massively when it comes to putting its female characters in the spotlight; now the franchise will have both the first female-superhero-fronted solo movie and first first female-superhero-fronted team movie on screens way before any Marvel movie equivalent. Not bad for a franchise that started five years later.
So while Ayer seems a logical choice because of his familiarity with this material on Suicide Squad, this would have been a great chance for DC to give another tentpole movie to a female director. On the other hand, that could be seen as tokenism, and the real breakthrough will come when a female director is given a superhero movie that doesn’t have a primarily female spin; Rachel Talalay for Justice League 2, anyone?
There’s another way that the movie could break new ground, too. In the comics, Harley and Poison Ivy have often had a bit of a thing going on; it would be great in the the new movie if Harley finally stopped being in the thrall of the Joker and started looking elsewhere for some loving.
Gotham City Sirens would also be a great opportunity introduce Batgirl, don’t you think? Hey, maybe the film’s Sirens vs Birds Of Prey? Now, wouldn’t that be something?