The upcoming DC comics movie “Birds of Prey” will be a feminist film that takes a close look at misogyny according to Ewan McGregor, who will be playing the character Black Mask alongside Margot Robbie, who returns to the screen as Harley Quinn.
“What interested me with Birds of Prey is that it’s a feminist film. It is very finely written, there is in the script a real look on misogyny,” he said. “And I think we need that, we need to be more aware of how we behave with the opposite sex. We need to be taught to change.”
McGregor went on to differentiate between the extreme, violent misogyny seen in men like his character Black Mask and the “everyday” type of misogyny that appears in subtle ways, from the way a man addresses a woman to the way a man regards a woman’s intelligence.
“Misogynists in movies are often extreme: they rape, they beat women … And it is legitimate to represent people like that, because they exist and they are obviously the worst,” he said. “But in the Birds of Prey dialogues, there is always a hint of everyday misogyny, of those things you say as a man you do not even realize, mansplaining … All it’s in the script in a very subtle way. I found that brilliant.”
“Birds of Prey” will be released on February 7, 2020. If the social messages that McGregor speaks of are indeed prevalent throughout the film, that may not bode well for its box office potential, given that audiences have increasingly grown tired of sitting through movies that feel like political lectures instead of stories that utilize those social concepts to generate compelling themes rich with complex characters. No film put that on display better than this summer’s action comedy “Stuber,” which tanked at the box office after the cast explicitly stated the movie would be a “constant” exploration of toxic masculinity.
“I feel like we’re in a time where we can talk about masculinity and how it’s always been very traditionally defined in a narrow way and how that’s led to problems for everyone — for women and for men,” the film’s star Kumail Nanjiani told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “I felt like it would be interesting to try to talk about that stuff in a traditionally very masculine genre. A buddy cop action comedy is such a dude movie, so we thought it would be interesting to talk about dude issues that also affect the whole world, in a traditionally male genre.”
Bautista told THR that toxic masculinity should be discussed more and the film will be “constantly talking about it.”
“Throughout the film, we’re constantly talking about it,” Bautista said. “Sometimes you don’t realize it because we’re making you laugh or disguising it with action, but we really do have the discussion throughout the film.”
“Stuber” went on to be a financial failure, earning just $22,370,452 domestically.