One of the most exciting upcoming movies DC has planned is Ben Affleck's Batman solo film (tentatively titled The Batman). With the project now officially green-lit, and plenty of backstory hinted at in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the flames of fan speculation have definitely been stoked.
Batman is a fan-favorite character for good reason: As the brooding yet compassionate genius detective of DC Comics, he's iconic. But it's not just the Dark Knight himself who fans love — there are a myriad of supporting characters and excellent villains on the Gotham side of DC.
And some of them have been waiting in the cinematic wings for far too long.
Batman And The Batfamily
If Dawn of Justice proved nothing else, it's that Batman without his Robins is a dark, vicious, and morally dubious figure. Decades of crime fighting in Gotham have taken a toll, and losing both Jason Todd and Barbara Gordon seems to have pushed Bruce Wayne over the edge of morality:
"Twenty years in Gotham, Alfred; we've seen what promises are worth. How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?"
Oh, and you read that right. Barbara Gordon (played by Jena Malone) is officially part of the DCEU, but she didn't make the cut for Batman v Superman because her scenes were R rated. This has led fans to speculate that those scenes were a flashback to The Killing Joke plot, as Bruce remembers how the Joker brutally attacked Batgirl, leaving her paralyzed.
And yet, although there are many traumatic events in Bruce's past, in the comics it's his supporting heroes who keep him on the straight and narrow. The Batfamily is vast, with several characters taking up the mantles of Robin and Batgirl and eventually becoming their own heroes (most notably: Nightwing, Oracle, Red Hood and Black Bat). And then there are other vigilantes like Catwoman, Batwoman and Huntress.
Batman's solo movie has an excellent opportunity to introduce these supporting characters, exploring the impact Batman's extended family can make on his life and heroism. And of course there's the possibility that The Batman will set up one of DC's most popular hero teams.
Could We Get A 'Birds Of Prey' Film?
This is a lot more likely than you might expect. Malone's involvement in the DCEU as Barbara Gordon has opened up a realm of possibilities, especially considering the nature of her deleted scene. After Babs was paralyzed by the Joker, she became Oracle, a hacker savant and the world's most powerful information broker.
She also co-founded the Birds of Prey, an elite hero team, with her close friend Dinah Lance, a.k.a. Black Canary. Joined by Huntress and several others, the Birds of Prey were a very popular team who received several solo comic series, both in the post-Infinite Crisis timeline and the New 52.
So what about the DCEU? Black Canary has been rumored to appear in Justice League for a while now, though whether she'll be in Part One or Two remains to be seen. Put that together with Malone playing Babs and we've got a potential Birds of Prey movie on our hands. And this would tie in beautifully not just with The Batman and Justice League, but also to Suicide Squad and the rest of the DCEU.
In the current Birds of Prey lineup, Babs is Batgirl once again (the New 52 restored her origins and erased her injuries from The Killing Joke), and she works with Black Canary, Starling, Poison Ivy and Katana. But this isn't the first time the Birds of Prey have been connected to Suicide Squad — Oracle's first appearance in the comics was in Suicide Squad Issue 23, and she's worked with them and against them several times.
Thematically speaking, the Birds of Prey are a perfect fit for the DCEU. They're comprised of heroes and antiheroes, fighting against everything from Mr. Freeze to government corruption. As Oracle, Babs often subverted civil liberties in hacking missions, which would feed perfectly into the questions of power and responsibility that Batman v Superman posed.
And of course, having an all-female hero team would be pretty revolutionary for the DC movies (and Hollywood in general, to be honest). But which Birds of Prey lineup would be best for the DCEU?
Post-'Infinite Crisis' Meets The New 52
We would definitely like to see Malone as Oracle rather than Batgirl. Although Batgirl herself is a much-loved character, there are plenty of other heroes in the same vein. But Oracle is unique, both as a hacker and DC's first (and probably only) paraplegic superhero. And if they really want to include a Batgirl, there's always Stephanie Brown.
As for the other members of the team, the current New 52 lineup seems to be the best for the DCEU: Black Canary, Poison Ivy, Katana and possibly Starling.
Katana would connect the Birds of Prey to Suicide Squad, and Poison Ivy's long awaited re-entrance into the DC movies could be accompanied by Harley Quinn facing off against the Birds of Prey (as in the current comics run).
Basically, this is a team with a huge amount of potential, a loyal fan following and excellent plot possibilities. Also, they're a group of attractive women kicking bad-guy butt in awesome outfits. What's not to love?