The R-rated DC goods are set to continue. Birds of Prey, the first major comic book movie coming our way in 2020, has officially been given an R-rating by the MPAA. It had been heavily expected that the Harley Quinn spin-off, which sees Margot Robbie returning as the character for the first time since Suicide Squad, was going to go that route, but now it's been confirmed. The movie, it seems, is following in the footsteps of Joker.

Birds of Prey is R-rated for "strong violence and language throughout, and some sexual and drug material." So director Cathy Yan (Dead Pigs) didn't hold back, and Warner Bros. didn't try and make her hold back in the editing room. Christina Hodson (Bumblebee) penned the screenplay and, undoubtedly, a percentage of the R-rated stuff that made it to the screen is owed to her. In any event, DC Films is continuing to experiment with its post-Justice League slate, as this will be the first DCEU movie to not be PG-13.

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Joker was also rated R, but the movie didn't take place in the same universe as titles like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Aquaman. For Warner Bros., this feels like a calculated risk. For one, Joker grossed more than $1 billion at the global box office and recently nabbed several Golden Globes nominations. It has been a tremendous success by virtually any measure. Not being PG-13 didn't seem to hurt it at all. Birds of Prey, it's also worth mentioning, has a relatively low budget, said to be in the $75 million range. That also makes it the cheapest DCEU movie to date. So there is less financial risk. Deadpool kicked the door open in 2016 for these types of comic book movies. Now other studios are taking notice.

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) centers on a story told by Harley Quinn herself, as only Harley can tell it. Roman Sionis, aka Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), one of Gotham City's most nefarious and narcissistic villains, and his devout right-hand, Zsasz (Chris Messina), have their sights set on a young girl named Cass (Ella Jay Basco). Gotham is turned upside down as criminals of the city searching for her. Harley, Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) will cross paths and the unlikely team has no choice but to work together to take Roman down.

This looks to continue DC's hot streak, following Aquaman, Shazam and Joker. Warner Bros. was forced to rethink its strategy with the brand in a big way following the release of Justice League. So far, things have been going quite well on that front. Also on deck for release in 2020 is Wonder Woman 1984, which recently debuted its first trailer. Birds of Prey is set to hit theaters on February 7, 2020, from Warner Bros.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott