Short as the first Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) teaser is, it’s actually chock full of our first looks at basically the entire leading cast of characters.
The problem’s just that they all flash by so quickly, you could easily miss them.
There’s plenty of Harley Quinn in the 20-second spot, and you know all about her already. Here’s everyone else you might need a closer look at:
Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress
First introduced in Joey Cavalieri and Joe Staton’s The Huntress back in 1989, Huntress is one of Gotham’s most brutal heroes who, like many members of the (extended) Bat-family, has origins rooted in tragedy. While she’s an excellent hand to hand fighter, she’s most known for her proficiency with the crossbow — her signature weapon — and her penchant for kicking arse before she takes names.
While there have been a number of characters to take on the Huntress mantle over the years—including one Helena Kyle who was the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle — it seems as if Winstead’s character is meant to be Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of a prominent crime family who becomes a hero after witnessing her parents’ deaths.
Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary
Like Huntress, Black Canary’s a character who’s had a couple of incarnations over her DC Comics history that all feature a number of distinct qualities that set them apart from one another to varying degrees. Dinah Laurel Lance (daughter of Dinah Drake Lance) is the Black Canary most associated with DC’s Birds of Prey comics that the movie seems to be drawing from most directly; traditionally, she’s depicted as being one of the most formidable martial artists in the world.
Whether Birds of Prey’s Black Canary will also be a metahuman with a canary “cry” is unclear, but it’s interesting to see that she’ll be a singer in the film, a nod to her recent turn to rock stardom in the comics.
Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya
Renee Montoya began her crimefighting career in Gotham working as an officer, and later detective, with the city’s police department. In time, she’s become the most recent Question, a vigilante who unnerves her foes using a mask that renders her face completely blank.
In addition to being one of Gotham’s finest law enforcement officers, she’s also one of DC’s most prominent lesbian heroes to date. Here, she allies herself with Harley, Huntress, and Black Canary as Gotham’s faced with a handful of new threats that lead the heroes to realise they’re better of working as a team.
Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain
In most tellings, Cassandra Cain is a young girl who becomes a member of the Bat-family after being raised to be a deadly assassin capable of “reading” people’s body language much in the same way most people can understand one another through speech. Her violent upbringing leaves her scarred, but strong, and she operates out of Gotham as a hero alongside Oracle and the other Birds of Prey. Here, Cassandra’s still a child, and perhaps not quite at a point in her life where she’s working as a crimefighter (or using the Batgirl mantle), but she becomes the target of one of the film’s major antagonists.
Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz
Victor Zsasz is the kind of sad soul that makes you understand why you really shouldn’t just interact with any old stranger you happen to cross paths with in Gotham. After gambling away everything he owns in a bout of depression, Zsasz has a mental breakdown during a suicide attempt that ends up with him instead deciding to murder a homeless man. Zsasz sees the world as a desolate, lonely place that people need to be free of — something he delights in doing by cutting his victims’ throats and putting their corpses into animated poses. He also likes to keep track of his kills by cutting tallies into his flesh that he wears with pride.
Ewan McGregor as Roman Sionis/Black Mask
As a child, Roman Sionis was dropped on his head and later attacked by a rabid raccoon, incidents that would have traumatized anyone, but devastated the boy especially because of the way his wealthy Gothamite parents went out of their way to make sure no one ever found out about them. Being more concerned about their elite reputations, Sionis’ parents never made time to consider his emotional needs, and after a lifetime of being ignored and neglected, he emerges into adulthood broken and emotionally unstable.
After ruining his family’s cosmetics business by greenlighting dangerous new products that horrifically disfigure hundreds of customers, and then — I shit you not — being struck by lightning in a graveyard, Sionis snaps, puts on a black mask, and decides to get into the crime game as, well, the Black Mask.
??? as ???
While we can see everyone else’s face in the teaser, this character’s identity is left conspicuously unclear which is...interesting. The bat would immediately make one assume that we’re looking at Harley here (and it definitely seems like it’s hers), but anybody can hold a baseball bat, which opens up the possibility that this might actually be one of the most important characters in the Birds of Prey mythos.
It’s been rumoured that Barbara Gordon’s meant to make an appearance in the movie, though not as the hero Batgirl. This would make sense considering that Barbara operates as Oracle while working with the Birds of Prey in most instances. Going back to the mysterious image, there isn’t really all that much to go on aside from the fact that the woman’s wearing yellow (Barbara’s accent colour of choice for her old Batgirl costumes), that very loud belt that looks like a Batman x Balmain collaboration, and well...the bat.
The bat. Homophones can be tricksy like that.
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) — starring Margot Robbie, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez, Ella Jay Basco, and Ewan McGregor — hits theatres February 2020.