Christina Hodson has been living with Harley Quinn for a in fact very prolonged time, and you’re going to also direct she’s grown emotionally connected. „I by no formulation desire Harley to lumber away me,“ the screenwriter tells MTV Records over the cell phone from London, where she’s throughout a demanding press day promoting her latest movie, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
Advised from the perspective of DC Comics‘ resident wild baby, and in her possess entertaining declare, the movie is an entertaining explosion of chaos, violence, and glitter, and it in a roundabout device provides Harley a likelihood to stand on her possess. A ardour project for every Hodson and megastar Margot Robbie, the pair developed the space together four-and-a-half of years ago. From the initiating up, they knew the movie wanted to be three things: It wanted to be Harley’s fable; she desired to search out her girl gang (enter: the Birds of Prey); and it must silent be R-rated.
„Our goal once we situation out was to enact something that felt assorted,“ Hodson says. „We each loved immense action films. We each loved superhero films. But we intentionally situation out to enact something that felt recent and courageous and dangerous … and Harley was the correct automobile to enact that with. She feels now not like somebody else in any universe. She’s very grand her possess thing.“
In this conversation with MTV Records, Hodson talks about living internal Harley’s mind at some level of the come of the movie, collaborating on situation with director Cathy Yan, and how she’s the utilization of her platform to empower female writers to pitch their very possess superhero films. Plus, she solutions the age-feeble inquire: The attach goes Batman uncover his breakfast sandwiches?
MTV Records: This movie is situation in Harley Quinn’s world, and you’re going to also enjoy been working on this project for years. What has it been worship living internal Harley’s mind all this time?
Christina Hodson: I in fact worship it so grand. Harley has been there since the initiating attach, and now now we enjoy let her loose. Or no longer it has been a dreamy abilities working with Margot. Or no longer it has been been four-and-a-half of years since we began talking about this. Getting internal Harley’s head was easy because she’s got this type of colossal history in the comics, from the very initiating attach when Paul Dini and Bruce Timm launched us to her. I enjoy in particular love getting to snatch Margot on the the same time. Harley feels worship a order of every of us. We keep up a correspondence the language fluently now.
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MTV Records: Making it an ensemble movie was also key, bringing in the Birds. I scheme no longer know if a entire movie about Harley would enjoy labored rather as effectively if it didn’t enjoy these assorted characters worship Huntress, Gloomy Canary, and Renee Montoya to balance out Harley’s eccentricities. Used to be it developed as a ensemble movie from the initiating up?
Hodson: All credit ranking goes to Margot for that. When she was filming Suicide Squad, she knew straight that she wished to enact extra with Harley. And what she in fact wished was to understand a girl gang on-screen screen. She’s got this type of daring community of chums, and he or she wished to understand those relationships mirrored. She loved the Birds of Prey. There are so grand of incredible female characters in the DC Universe, so we each began doing plenty of compare on the Birds of Prey, initiating with the Chuck Dixon comics and the entire formulation thru to Gail Simone’s work. It was about falling in love with these characters and bringing them together in a formulation that felt assorted. We enjoy viewed a series of ensemble team-americathat in fact feel roped — the team is assembled and they lumber off to place the day. We wished to present every of those women folk their very possess fable and then enjoy the tales collide so as that they are pressured together.
MTV Records: What was it worship balancing those characters, with their particular particular person fable traces and nuances, in the script?
Hodson: They’re all such assorted characters. Huntress, historically in the comics, has this extremely rich and roughly dark backstory. In a entire lot of programs, she’s the female Batman of the DC Universe. But what I wished to enact with her, and what I judge the actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead does so effectively is bringing a proper heart and humor to that position. Even when she’s being tough and kicking ass, she’s beautiful fucking humorous. Likewise, Canary has colossal wisecracks, and that is the reason factual to the comics. Gail Simone has done this type of incredible job with Canary over the years. And Jurnee Smollett-Bell embodies that; she will be able to be able to kick you in the gut and then direct something hilarious. And Rosie Perez brings proper depth and heart and hilarity to a persona worship Detective Montoya, who can read as in fact straight. There’s most sharp so grand I will enact on the page, however she brings that personality to life in this type of dynamic formulation.
MTV Records: I in fact worship that it was a movie that celebrates and empowers women folk without being a „girl energy movie.“
Hodson: We wished it to surely feel natural and no longer worship a girl energy movie. It doesn’t want to be a feminist movie because we’re all women folk writing and making this movie. Or no longer it’s appropriate naturally there. Or no longer it’s far a movie that I am hoping men and girls folk will love.
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MTV Records: I in particular loved the fight sequence situation to „Gloomy Betty“ whereby Harley inhales an unknown substance and then proceeds to position extinguish to a entire mob of criminals.
Hodson: Margot is so appropriate in that scene! And he or she does so many of those stunts herself. Margot is beautifully appropriate with a bat. Or no longer it’s far a bit provoking.
MTV Records: Did you utilize plenty of time on situation?
Hodson: I used to be on situation on daily basis. And I must silent give a shout-out to Margot’s stunt double, Renae Moneymaker. The relaxation that Margot couldn’t enact — and there is now not any longer a lot Margot can not enact — Renae is the one doing it. But she was also the one coaching Margot and working with her each day. She is so proficient and labored her ass off on this movie. And it pays in dividends.
MTV Records: What was it worship collaborating with Cathy Yan and all of those creatives on situation?
Hodson: Getting to work with assorted women folk whose work you too can enjoy admired is so inconceivable. I met Cathy for espresso two years ago. It was appropriate after Sundance. I seen Tiring Pigs and idea it was inconceivable. Or no longer it’s an entertaining one to glance and then direct, „Hello, it’s top to silent direct a superhero movie.“ But there is a darkness there, and or no longer it’s an ensemble fable. I straight launched her to Margot, who loved her. There are so grand of unparalleled women folk who labored on this movie, worship Sue Kroll, our assorted producer. She has this type of depth of information on the advertising and marketing and marketing and marketing aspect. And we had some in fact beautiful men on this movie too!
MTV Records: Used to be there a scene or efficiency that if truth be told surprised you?
Hodson: Chris Messina taking part in Zsasz. He offered so grand depth and life to that position. Even watching him on situation, he would play so grand with that efficiency. He is this type of talented actor, and most participants enjoy by no formulation viewed Chris play a villain. To understand Chris lumber to town and be so wickedly, deliciously infamous was great. He and Margot in fact jump off every assorted effectively. He licks her face in about a scenes. I endure in mind him going up to her and asking, „Is that this OK? Am I going too far?“ And he or she was worship, „No! Bring it!“
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MTV Records: Ewan McGregor may per chance be having so grand fun on this movie.
Hodson: Roman Sionis is a in fact unparalleled villain. One of many important things for Ewan that I judge comes thru on-screen screen is that he’s no longer taking part in Roman as a villain. Roman in Roman’s mind is very grand the hero of the fable. Ewan approached it as the guy who judge he’s in the ideal; he’s no longer being infamous for the sake of being infamous. He is being infamous because he’s a narcissist.
MTV Records: This movie also picks up on one of the important functions you’d salvage in the comic books, worship the emotional attachment that Harley has towards a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich.
Hodson: Or no longer it’s important!
MTV Records: But things worship that, getting to enter restaurants and meet assorted participants that dwell on this city, scheme this movie in fact feel very recent. Batman doesn’t lumber to bodegas, however or no longer it’s far so integral to Harley’s fable.
Hodson: The attach does he uncover his breakfast sandwiches?
MTV Records: Alfred maybe makes them.
Hodson: They’re very posh breakfast sandwiches, I’m determined.
MTV Records: But how fun was that so that you can surely dive into the streets of Gotham?
Hodson: Mountainous fun! We wished to understand a assorted roughly Gotham City. Or no longer it’s the insides of the bodegas which are once in some time a bit scuzzy; or no longer it’s Doc’s Taiwanese restaurant. We appropriate wished to lumber home with Harley, so there enjoy been plenty of important functions that enjoy been dropped at life. Within the occasion you lumber internal her rental, she has a Queen Elizabeth pillow and a portray of her as a schoolgirl with just a few nuns. Runt important functions worship that.
MTV Records: And the beaver, which is suitable no longer outlined at all.
Hodson: Needless to train! You can not no longer enjoy the beaver.
MTV Records: I am hoping it discovered its formulation into Margot’s possess home. Did you protect shut something from Harley’s home?
Hodson: Props division would no longer bask in if I answered that inquire!
MTV Records: The dynamic between Harley and Cassandra Cain is surprisingly candy. Why was it important so that you can bring those two together and scheme them the heart of this fable?
Hodson: One of many things that I in fact worship about that dynamic is getting to understand Harley with a kid. Or no longer it’s such an unparalleled thing. We’re so outdated to seeing her with Joker or with her peers, however seeing her with this kid who in fact looks up to her, and seeing the terrible advice that Harley would give to a baby, truthfully appropriate makes me chortle. But it completely also opens up a inclined aspect to Harley, and a candy aspect. It was in fact fun being ready to understand Harley lumber to those areas.
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MTV Records: The movie in fact earns its R ranking, which must enjoy been rather freeing for you.
Hodson: That was even handed one of many first things Margot urged me once we met: She urged me she wished Harley, she wished Birds of Prey, and he or she wished it to be R-rated. I used to be straight in. Harley is a persona who is extra healthy urged in an R-rated setting. With that, you may per chance quiz the surprising. She’s no longer always going to be dainty and smartly mannered about what she does. So that you can enact that with the language and action was important. With PG-13, you can not hit somebody and revel in wet blood, you may per chance most sharp enjoy dry blood. Or no longer it’s no longer that we wished the movie to be gory or gratuitous. We appropriate wished to surely be at liberty in our storytelling.
MTV Records: You’re working on about a assorted DC tasks in the intervening time, worship Batgirl and The Flash. What enact you love about these characters?
Hodson: For me, the article about the DC characters is that they’ve proper humanity. I in fact worship Batman. I’ve always loved Batman. Some participants understand him as an archetype however, whenever you specialise in about it, he’s got an extremely human fable. He is a kid who misplaced his participants when he was younger. Barry Allen, likewise, is such an emotional personality. Andy Muschietti has come on to direct The Flash and he brings so grand of that heart and warmth to all the pieces he does. Because these characters enjoy been around for a in fact very prolonged time, DC has explored so many sides of who they’re and where they got here from. I’m a gargantuan DC fan — always enjoy been.
From left to appropriate: Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Cathy Yan, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Margot Robbie, Ella Jay Basco, Chris Messina, and Christina Hodson
MTV Records: Last yr, you and Margot teamed up for the Lucky Exports Pitch Program. Why is that so important to the each of you?
Hodson: About two years ago, when Time’s Up was kicking off, I started looking into the statistics of female representation on-screen screen. I also seemed on the in the lend a hand of-the-scenes numbers in the Writers Guild of The United States. feature writers, men enjoy been outnumbering women folk 3:1. Out of about 1,600 feature writers, there enjoy been most sharp 116 participants of color. These statistics are terrible and they want altering. I felt worship there was a proper excellent formulation of doing it, which was to bring up assorted women folk. Within the the same formulation that I’ve had alternatives, I wished to invent extra alternatives for female writers on the lookout for to interrupt into the put that I’m currently in, tentpole action films, which traditionally has been viewed as a predominantly male put. There are so grand of women folk accessible who love action films and want to write action films.
MTV Records: So then you surely brought it to Margot’s LuckyChap Entertainment.
Hodson: LuckyChap was founded on this idea of trying extra female representation on-screen screen and in the lend a hand of the digicam. So I approached them, and they enjoy been colossal exasperated to uncover entangled. It was a four-week program that we ran in November, where these six incredible female writers got here in, and we took them the entire formulation from that early seed of an opinion thru outlining a movie and constructing with a incredible pitch. The thing that was in fact moving for me and Margot was seeing how they collaborated. There’s this assumption that there’s competition amongst women folk in the alternate, and that is the reason utterly counterfeit. Both of us enjoy discovered proper toughen in our girlfriends.
MTV Records: What’s basically the most important to having a in fact a success pitch?
Hodson: Two things: self belief and love. You enjoy to surely, in fact in fact feel passionate about it. You enjoy to surely feel it for your bones. The women folk that I know who are going to reach this enviornment don’t appear to be faking it. They love these action films. They love superhero films. Or no longer it’s who they’re and the tales they want to expose.