Harley Quinn is getting her own women-led spin-off. Let’s talk about the rise of the “girl gang” movie
Back in 2017, Margot Robbie sat down with MTV News and shared that there was a stand alone Harley Quinn movie in the works. "I've been working on a separate spinoff Harley thing for a while now," she said. She also teased that she'd been involved in the project for two years.
Well, now we know for sure that it’s happening. It's been confirmed by multiple sources including Margot herself and will be called Birds of Prey, based on the comic of the same name according to Variety.
Cathy Yan has been tapped to direct and Margot will obviously come back as Harley. The script was written by Christina Hodson who was recently asked to pen the Batgirl movie. So it’s women all round and that’s not even talking about the women who will hopefully be starring in the film.
In an interview with Yahoo, Margot teased a bunch of other characters from the DC universe that will be in the film such as Katana from Suicide Squad, Black Canary, Huntress, Catwoman, Hawkgirl, Power Girl, Poison Ivy, and Vixen.
It’s set to be what Margot calls a “girl gang” movie and we’re quite excited about it.
But this isn’t the first women-led, “girl gang” film we’re getting (it might be in the universe of superhero movies, but that’s a different story altogether). In recent years we’ve seen some great films in a range of genres which have done really well.
Hidden Figures: the story of three black women who work for NASA and the obstacles they face on the way.
Then Girl’s Trip: a group of black women go to New Orleans for the weekend and hilarity ensues.
And the latest has been Ocean’s 8: a group of women, all with different specialist skills, team together to pull of an incredible heist.
All of these films did (or are in the process of doing) incredibly well at the box office and it sends one clear message – female-led films are money makers. We want to hear stories written by women and star women that are interesting and multifaceted and show that we are more than just damsels in distress, or running after a man, or in the case of many women of colour, maids or slaves.
This 2016 study showed that just 28.7% of all speaking roles in movies were accredited to women. There’s also still a gender pay gap in Hollywood where women actors are paid far less than their male counterparts. In 2017, there were no women in the top 10 most paid actors list, with Emma Stone only ranking at 15 after her La La Land co-star Ryan Gosling.
So hopefully 2018’s women-led films will encourage studios to create more women-centric films and thus pay female stars what they’re worth.
Even though a study says that women only accounted for 24% of protagonists in the top 100 grossing films of 2017, according to the New York Times, and that number is probably not set to increase very much this year, there is still hope that Hollywood will listen to their audiences and see where the money is coming from and realise that women and men will pay to see exciting stories about women on screen.