When both Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) and Batgirl went into production at Warner Bros., DC Comics fans got excited. Could this mean Barbara Gordon would be part of both movies, tying the two together? Sadly, that won’t be the case.
While Barbara Gordon’s Oracle was an integral part of Birds of Prey in the comics, the character in the movies will not move in that direction. The two films will not be tied together, according to Forbes, and will remain separate entities within the DC Extended Universe.
Naturally, this is disappointing, but it also makes plenty of sense. When Barbara brought the Birds of Prey together, she was in a wheelchair and had already given up her costumed persona of Batgirl. While her paralysis was a topic of controversy in the comic book world, she ended up as one of the most inspirational characters in comics when it came to overcoming a disability to remain a hero.
In the movies, Batgirl is presumably still active and swinging into action to battle the bad guys, and as a result, there is no place for Oracle in the world of Birds of Prey. In fact, there is actually no word of a “(wo)man in the chair”-type character in the movie at all.
Older fans might remember the Birds of Prey TV show from The WB in 2002. That had The Oracle (Dina Meyer) as the leader of the group, which consisted of Catwoman (Ashley Scott) and Black Canary (Rachel Skarsten) and a police detective named Jesse Reese (Shemar Moore). Interestingly, Harley Quinn (Mia Sara) was also in that series as the villain.
Conversely, Bird of Prey sees Harley as one of the heroes, joined by Black Canary, Huntress and Det. Renee Montoya, along with a young Cassandra Cain as someone they need to save from the evil Black Mask.
As for the Batgirl movie, it has been in development for a long time and keeps undergoing major changes. Originally, Joss Whedon was tasked with bringing the heroine to life on the big screen but he left the project and Birds of Prey screenwriter Christina Hodson stepped up to work on the script.
Directed by Cathy Yan from a script by Christina Hodson, Birds of Prey stars Margot Robbie, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez and Ewan McGregor. It is scheduled to be released on Feb. 7, 2020.