Having made her live action theatrical debut in 2016’s Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is finally returning to the big screen next year in Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). The end of Suicide Squad showed Harley reuniting with The Joker, but she’ll be adventuring without the Clown Prince of Crime in the eighth DC Extended Universe movie. That said, it looks like another element from Harley’s early days on Batman: The Animated Series might be incorporated into Birds of Prey: her pet hyenas, Bud and Lou.
Birds of Prey has officially begun principal photography, and a leaked behind-the-scenes photo, shared by Harley Quinn Updates, shows Margot Robbie (wearing a different costume than the one in the preview video released at the beginning of the week) inside a store called Murray’s Exotic Animals. Aside from seeing a bird cage, it’s hard to tell what critters are being sold in this shop, but hyenas would certainly qualify as “exotic" animals. Of course, then there’s the question of how hyenas can be legally sold, but I’m assuming Murray’s Exotic Animals is located in Gotham City, where folks can get away with a lot of illegal activities that would swiftly be dealt with in other DC cities.
Named after iconic comedy duo Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, the hyenas Bud and Lou first appeared in the Batman: The Animated Series episode “The Man Who Killed Batman,” although they weren’t named until The New Batman Adventures episode “Joker’s Millions.” Naturally the hyenas frequently laugh, makes them excellent companions for Harley, who’s almost as obsessed with mirth and humor as The Joker. Eventually, just like Harley Quinn herself, Bud and Lou were introduced to the comics, with Harley freeing them from the Gotham City Zoo in the debut issue of her first comic book series.
Although Joker and Harley Quinn were very much an item during Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey sees Harley Quinn striking out on her own, and I can imagine acquiring those hyenas being one of the ways she commemorates the start of this new chapter in her life. And, knowing Harley, she probably persuaded Murray himself to allow her to part with the hyenas for the bargain price of $0. For now, though, it remains to be seen if Bud and Lou will actually appear in Birds of Prey, let alone how much screen time they’ll get.
As for Harley Quinn, Birds of Prey will see her teaming up with Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to protect a young girl named Cassandra Cain, who’s being targeted by Gotham City crime lord Roman Sionis, a.k.a. Black Mask (Ewan McGregor), because she has a diamond that belongs to him. Cathy Yan is directing and Christina Hodson, who is also writing the Batgirl movie, penned the script.
Birds of Prey opens in theaters on February 7, 2020, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. If you’re curious about what else is in development for the DCEU, look through our handy guide.