This Rotten Week: Predicting How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Reviews

We’ve only got one movie on the docket this week, but it’s the culmination of a lot of practice with a fictitious beast over the course of nearly a decade. Get ready for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Just remember, I’m not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they’ll end up on the Tomatometer. Let’s take a look at This Rotten Week has to offer.

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is back in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the final installment in the tutorial on dragon training. This time he and Toothless travel to another world searching out an albino dragon hottie that could unlock all of the secrets of the dragons’ past and future. It looks like a petty enticing setup.

This is the third title in the How to Train Your Dragon series, with the previous two features finishing with 98% and 92% scores respectively on Rotten Tomatoes. Both were helmed by Dean DeBlois, who got the opportunity to complete his trilogy by taking the helm of The Hidden World as well. It stands to reason that this new one will be just as good as its predecessors, and the early reviews already suggesting that will be the case. The Tomatometer is currently sitting at 96% with more than 70 write-ups of the film posted online. This one is falling right in line with the previous two movies, and I’m not predicting a lot of movement over the course of the week.

It was another successful week for the Rotten Watch last time around, with two of the three movies falling within range of the prediction. Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel (Predicted: 59% Actual: 60%) didn’t knock anyone’s socks off, but it wasn’t a disaster either from a critical perspective. This is the score you could kind of see coming from some of the earlier reviews and the way the tide was turning. It’s something of a groundbreaking movie from a cinematic and visual perspective, but, according to critics, the story didn’t exactly keep up the pace.

Meanwhile, Happy Death Day 2U (Predicted: 55% Actual: 67%) could very well end up a predictive win with a little more time and just two more negative reviews. That being said, the follow up to the slasher take on Groundhog Day once again landed with critics. It finished well into the “Fresh” realm, which is kind of shocking considering the premise. But that’s what happens when you just make a solid movie.

Finally, Isn’t it Romantic (Predicted: 67% Actual: 68%) was another near-direct hit. The rom-com send up finished well with critics, with writers generally enjoying the tongue-in-cheek approach to the typical romance narrative. Most agreed that Rebel Wilson carried the flick even through it’s slower moments. It doesn’t sound like it’s a great film by any stretch, but it was warmly received overall.

Aquaman Just Topped Batman V Superman At U.S. Box Office, Could It Pass Wonder Woman?

Aquaman is the overall king of the DCEU, but not at the domestic box office. There’s now just one colleague left to conquer … and she may be out of his league.

Yep, Aquaman is still in theaters and it’s still breaking records. There was already a lot of back-patting when Aquaman had a strong opening overseas. There was more applause when it became the first DCEU movie to break $1 billion dollars. There was still more cheering — along with some surprise — when it managed to pass The Dark Knight Rises as the highest-grossing DC Comics movie ever.

But it wasn’t done!

James Wan’s movie just passed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at the domestic box office.

Aquaman has made $1,130,771,102 overall at this point, and that’s from $799,400,000 at the foreign box office and $331,371,102 at the domestic box office. Batman v Superman: BvS made $873,634,919, with $543,274,725 from the foreign box office and $330,360,194 at the domestic box office.

So you can see that Aquaman just now passed BvS at the domestic (U.S./Canada) box office, which is still the biggest market in the world. (China is inching closer at No. 2.)

Wonder Woman will be tough for Aquaman to beat on the domestic side. That film has a lower overall gross of $821,847,012, but a full $412,563,408 of that came from the domestic box office. That’s the most of any DCEU film, and even more than its foreign gross of $409,283,604.

If we’re just talking domestic box office, here are the current numbers via Box Office Mojo, not adjusted for inflation:

Wonder Woman: $412,563,408
Aquaman: $331,371,102
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: $330,360,194
Suicide Squad: $325,100,054
Man of Steel: $291,045,518
Justice League: $229,024,295

So for Aquaman to pass Wonder Woman at the domestic box office, it has to make more than $81 million dollars from here. Is it possible?

Aquaman opened in theaters in late December, but here were are in mid-February and this past weekend it played in 1,264 theaters and made $1,885,000 at the domestic box office, placing #12 on the February 15-17, 2019 chart. That’s pretty impressive. And it’s not even counting money from anywhere it’s still playing overseas.

It’s hard to gauge what’s really possible for Aquaman from here, since the film has been underestimated this whole time. Ordinarily I’d say no, it’s not likely to pass Wonder Woman‘s U.S. total, but … maybe.

Warner Bros. is apparently moving forward with a sequel to Aquaman, with or possibly without director James Wan. There’s also talk of a spinoff following The Trench. The other day, Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa, got crazy excited about something DC-related, and went screaming down the DC office hallways. Is he excited for the sequel? Maybe he saw his paycheck for the next movie. Either way, we’ll stay on top of the box office numbers, and all future details on DCEU movies. For now, keep up with what’s headed to theaters this year with our 2019 movie release calendar.

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Alita Box Office: The Battle Angel Does Much Better Than Expected

Made with a budget of $170 million, Robert Rodriguez Alita: Battle Angel brought out the pessimist in box office prognosticators in recent weeks. Even though the film got a mostly positive early reception, there were many in Hollywood who were ready to write it off as a flop. It turns out that they were a bit off the mark, however, as while the movie’s opening weekend numbers aren’t exactly “impressive,” the film definitely overperformed compared to expectations to take the number one spot away from Mike Mitchell’s The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!

1. Alita: Battle Angel*

$27,800,000 Total: $36,516,232

LW: N

THTRS: 3,790

2. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

$21,215,000 Total: $62,690,359

LW: 1

THTRS: 4,303

3. Isn’t It Romantic*

$14,210,000 Total: $20,455,347

LW: N

THTRS: 3,444

4. What Men Want

$10,920,000 Total: $36,150,328

LW: 2

THTRS: 2,912

5. Happy Death Day 2U*

$9,816,000 Total: $13,527,500

LW: N

THTRS: 3,207

6. Cold Pursuit

$6,000,000 Total: $21,122,332

LW: 3

THTRS: 2,630

7. The Upside

$5,590,000 Total: $94,197,031

LW: 4

THTRS: 2,781

8. Glass

$3,859,000 Total: $104,489,915

LW: 5

THTRS: 2,449

9. The Prodigy $3,150,065 Total: $11,015,539

LW: 6

THTRS: 2,530

10. Green Book

$2,751,000 Total: $65,756,401

LW: 7

THTRS: 1,618

Predictions suggested that Alita: Battle Angel might not top $25 million across its extended opening weekend – having been released on Wednesday night instead of Friday – but audiences demonstrated a lot more interest than that. The movie managed to not only top $25 million in the three day weekend alone, but it’s domestic total now stands at $36 million. Again, this isn’t exactly record-breaking, but few saw the ticket sales coming.

It’s also important to note that the film is also continuing to do very well overseas – and while it won’t be arriving in China until later this month, it has already made some serious cash abroad. We reported last Monday that Alita: Battle Angel had made $32 million during a fast start in foreign markets, and in the time since that number has nearly tripled. Thanks to those contributions, the global total for the manga adaptation has gone over the century mark and currently stands at $130.9 million. It still has a long way to go before it can be considered profitable, but right now it’s not a goal that will be totally impossible to reach. The next really huge global release will be Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Captain Marvel, and that won’t be hitting cinemas until early March.

For what it’s worth, Alita: Battle Angel also seems to be getting a positive response from audiences – though the statistics suggesting this aren’t super scientific. Cinemascore surveys were apparently not distributed at screenings, but it does at the very least hold a 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.6 on IMDb. Will that lead to folks buying tickets to see it again, or influential watercooler chatter? It’s hard to say right now, and the full picture won’t be clear until this time next week.

It’s nice that Alita: Battle Angel did better than expected, but also important to note that this was overall a pretty dismal weekend for Hollywood (to say the least, 2019 is not off to a tremendous start). According to Box Office Mojo, the collective performances of all titles currently in theaters – both new and old – resulted in the worst President’s Day Weekend since 2004 (which had Peter Segal’s 50 First Dates as the big draw). In recent years we have seen mid-February become a stronger and stronger release window, with massive hits like Tim Miller’s Deadpool and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther absolutely crushing in their debuts, but we saw none of that heat active in 2019.

Counterbalancing the action of Alita: Battle Angel, it appeared like Todd Strauss-Schulson’s Isn’t It Romantic was being set up to try and get the date movie crowd, but it turned out to not have a great deal of appeal and couldn’t beat out The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part in week number two. The box office stakes aren’t exactly as a high as they are for the Robert Rodriguez-James Cameron collaboration, as it surely cost a small fraction of the visual effects-heavy project, but one could also imagine that there was hope that the film would do better than a little over $20 million across a five-day holiday weekend.

Of course, things could be worse, as illustrated by Christopher Landon’s Happy Death Day 2U – which, editorially speaking, is a real bummer. The first Happy Death Day was a big hit when it came out, making a global total of $125.5 million against a $4.8 million budget in October 2017, but it looks like Universal Pictures and Blumhouse made a big mistake changing up the release season for the follow-up. On top of that, given the time loop narrative one might think that it would have done a lot better if its release had been timed to Groundhog Day, which would have meant that its only real competition would have been Catherine Hardwicke’s Miss Bala (which has been a box office dud and opened behind M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass in its fourth weekend). Estimates said that the sequel would make as much as $25 million during the holiday, but the final results were closer to half that. The movie has already made its $9 million budget back, and has a worldwide total of $25.3 million so far, but this is a disappointment when you think about what could have been (and the fact that it’s actually a really fun film that deserves to be completed with a trilogy capper).

On the superhero beat, it’s also noteworthy that two titles that have been lingering for weeks are now off of the Top 10. Both Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, and Rodney Rothman’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and James Wan’s Aquaman managed to maintain solid placement on the chart since coming out in mid-December, 2018 but the slate of new releases bumped them down to eleventh and twelfth, respectively. Combined they have made $514,092,006 domestically, and that’s a remarkable feat worth celebrating, and honestly kind of a nice spit in the face to anyone prognosticating the death of the comic book movie.

Coming up we have a pretty quiet weekend, with the only new wide release being Dean DeBlois’ How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – the film that will end the trilogy that began nearly a full decade ago. How will it fare against the features that are already doing a nice job beating each other up? We’ll find out when the dust clears seven days from now, so join me again then!

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How Kyle MacLachlan Feels About Denis Villeneuve’s Dune Reboot

Kyle MacLachlan played Paul Atreides in the 1984 movie Dune, directed by David Lynch. It’s now a cult classic, but it was a massive flop at the box office, making roughly $31 million off a reported production budget over $40 million. Now director Denis Villeneuve is working on a Dune reboot, putting together an incredible A-list cast for the film’s release in 2020. What does MacLachlan think about this latest attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s novel for the big screen? Here’s what he said:

Yes, as Kyle MacLachlan told AM to DM, Dune is a story that doesn’t have to be told in one film. Denis Villeneuve has already said he plans to make multiple films. Last year, Frank Herbert’s son Brian said he had just received a draft of the Dune screenplay for the first movie, which covers about half of the novel.

Timothée Chalamet was the first star to be named for the 2020 movie, and he’ll be playing Paul Atreides. Kyle MacLachlan said “He’ll be great,” and had this classic quip when asked if he had any advice for the young star when playing Paul:

He knew not everyone would get that reference, but Dune fans enjoyed it.

It was just announced that Dune will open in theaters — including IMAX and 3D — on November 20, 2020. Considering the early interest in the film, and the talent that has been attracted so far, I’m guessing other films will want to stay away from that release date.

Denis Villeneuve’s growing Dune cast is said to include Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides; Rebecca Ferguson as Jessica Atreides; Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto; Zendaya as Chani; Javier Bardem as Stilgar; Josh Brolin as Gurney Halleck; Dave Bautista as Glossu Rabban; Stellan Skarsgård as Vladimir Harkonnen; Charlotte Rampling as Reverend Mother Mohiam; and Jason Momoa recently announced to be in talks to play Duncan Idaho.

There are so many stars in this cast, they could slip Kyle MacLachlan in for a cameo and it might take fans several viewings to even notice.

Denis Villeneuve has said his Dune will be very different from David Lynch’s 1984 version. He also said his goal was to make two Dune films, “maybe more.” According to Variety, production is expected to start this spring in Budapest and Jordan.

Mary Poppins Returns’ Oscars Song Will Be Performed By An Unexpected Star

Grab some tissues and prepare to cry (again) through “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns. The nominated song will be performed at the 2019 Oscars, but not by Emily Blunt. We already knew that, and we knew the Academy teased that “a surprise special guest” would be singing the beautiful tune instead.

Many fans guessed it would be Julie Andrews, the original Mary Poppins, despite Andrews not having any connection to Mary Poppins Returns (and instead having a cameo in competitor Aquaman). Also, Andrews, who is now 83, had complications after vocal cord surgery and hasn’t done as much singing since then.

Instead, the surprise special guest revealed the news herself last night:

“Wind Beneath My Wings” singer Bette Midler has won three Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards, and two Tony Awards. She was also nominated for the Best Actress Oscar twice — for The Rose in 1980 and in 1992 for For the Boys. She should be able to do the Mary Poppins Returns song justice.

The Oscars has seen many controversies this year, including for the Best Original Song category. Initially, to shorten the ceremony, The Academy planned to only have two of the five nominated songs performed live — “Shallow” from A Star is Born, and “All the Stars” from Black Panther. That was met with plenty of backlash, and the Academy reversed the decision. Now all of the five nominees will be heard — those three, plus “I’ll Fight” from RBG, and “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns has nominations for Marc Shaiman’s music, and the lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. According to Variety, Bette Midler is a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, and he’s expected to accompany her on piano at the Oscars.

In CinemaBlend’s ranking of Mary Poppins Returns songs, “The Place Where Lost Things Go” was picked as #1 — for the way Emily Blunt’s Mary subtly and beautifully sings of the children’s loss in a lullaby.

It’s a shame Emily Blunt wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for her performance, and also sad that she won’t be performing this song herself. There has been no explanation for why Blunt isn’t performing the song — did she say she’d prefer not to? — but now we know the song is in the capable hands of Bette Midler.

James Wan Agrees The New Conjuring Universe Toys Are Pretty Awesome

The Conjuring Universe has become a breeding ground for horror films and monsters, and it’s now one of the most successful modern franchises. However, the true sign of success for any blockbuster is whether it has cool toys or not, and The Conjuring just got two very cool new additions. The Nun and The Crooked Man, who both appeared in The Conjuring 2, are going to be available in toy form — and director James Wan is very excited about it.

Toy Fair 2019 was this weekend in New York City, which means that tons of new toys are on display. This usually involves a lot of figures based on movies, and sometimes you can even get a first look at costumes for an upcoming movie. Brands like Marvel and Star Wars usually have a big presence at the Toy Fair, but there’s lots of other things for toy fans to ogle.

Case in point, NECA unveiled the first look at a line of toys based on The Conjuring universe. The toys are scheduled to appear later this year and so far only two figures have been revealed: The Nun and the Crooked Man. Both of the monsters appeared in The Conjuring 2, with The Nun even getting her own spinoff film. A spinoff for the Crooked Man was previously announced to be in development.

The figures look super cool and capture the creepiness of the monsters, and you can check them out yourself right here, as shared on Twitter:

I especially like the Crooked Man, with his thin body, long limbs, and glasses on top of his hat. It looks like James Wan is in agreement with me. The director tweeted that he was “in” for a line of Conjuring collectibles. He also hoped that there would be figures of Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga), the ghost hunters who star in The Conjuring movies.

So far, only these two collectibles have been revealed thus far. However, one would figure that there will be one of Annabelle soon enough. Annabelle is a possessed doll who has starred in two Conjuring spin-offs with a third on the way. Plus given how often The Conjuring universe creates memorable monsters that expand the franchise, there will likely be more to come in the future.

As for The Conjuring franchise as a whole, there are a few different projects in the works. Annabelle 3 is scheduled for release in theaters on July 3, with Gary Dauberman as director. The Crooked Man spinoff has no director attached to it at the moment. The Conjuring 3 is also in the works — currently scheduled for release September 11, 2020 — but it won’t be directed by James Wan. The Aquaman director is passing the reins over to Michael Chaves, who directed the upcoming The Curse of La Llorona.

For more updates on The Conjuring Universe, be sure to keep it right here at CinemaBlend.

Alita: Battle Angel Is Overperforming, But How Much Does It Need To Break Even?

Alita: Battle Angel has overperformed compared to its box office expectations. Originally anticipated to only pull in a little over $20 million this weekend domestically, the movie is now expected to bring in a 3-day total of nearly $28 million – and that’s only in North America. But how much does the movie need to make to start pulling in a profit for Fox? We explore below.

In addition to the $27.8 million Alita: Battle Angel has landed this weekend, in the U.S. it’s actually a long weekend thanks to the President’s Day holiday landing on Monday. Since the weather isn’t great out in a lot of parts of the country and people are excited enough to be going to the movies, the expectation is that the 5-day total for Alita: Battle Angel will be at around $41.7 million.

Prior to Sunday’s numbers, the flick has made $36.5 million domestically, including its early Valentine’s day open ahead of the weekend, according to Box Office Mojo.

The good news doesn’t end there. There was always the hope that Alita: Battle Angel would do well overseas and estimates for the international box office now have the flick pinpointed at $136 million in worldwide markets so far.

Deadline reports that Alita: Battle Angel will need to make $500 million or more in order to start being profitable for Fox. That number is factoring in the movie’s alleged $200 million budget (shaved down to $170 million with tax credits). It’s also factoring in advertising and the fact that studios share movie ticket profits with theaters—and elsewhere in the world the studios rake in a much smaller percentage of the box office intake.

Figuring out revenue versus profit is complicated math even when you have the numbers right in front of you, and we don’t. So it’s hard to tell if guesstimates will pan out. Still, Alita: Battle Angel should prove to be an interesting case at the box office. From these early numbers, it’s certainly not going to be the giant flop the naysayers predicted.

Whether or not it becomes a middling movie or a big win remains to be seen. In all likelihood, if this one does well it will have some tidy domestic numbers and some huge worldwide numbers to thank. We’ll be sure to keep you posted the rest of the way. At the end of the day, though, this weekend was expected to be a tight race between Isn’t It Romantic, Happy Death Day 2U and Alita: Battle Angel. It doesn’t look as if that is the case, as this weekend was full of surprises.

To see how the weekend box office fared domestically this weekend, stay tuned. For now, be sure to check out what will be competing with Alita: Battle Angel in the weeks to come with our full movies release guide. Plus, take a look at what James Cameron had to say about the possibility of the sequel for Alita.

The Star Wars Episode IX Wrap Party Looks Like A Scene From Canto Bight

The Force — and probably a lot of liquor — was strong with the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX during Saturday night’s wild wrap party. You probably saw that director J.J. Abrams officially announced the end of filming on Friday, February 15, sharing a beautiful photo with Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), and Oscar Isaac (Poe).

John Boyega is active on social media, and he already shared his wrap gifts — including a Spider-Man (?!) gift from Daisy Ridley. Boyega was also active at the wrap party, hanging out with his buddy Joonas Suotamo, who plays Chewbacca. Suotamo is married and a father to a young son, so that’s probably what he was referencing in this clip, when he and Boyega said they sent the baby home so they could have a good time:

John Boyega was clearly the life of the party, even rocking out to Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles”:

The party setting itself was very interesting. Check out the centerpiece performance — described as a human disco ball — as the crowd listened to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”:

Here are more photos of the swanky location, which looked like it could’ve use some casino tables and Justin Theroux hanging out with a red plom bloom on his lapel:

Because this party marked the end of the new trilogy, it really did mark a goodbye for the cast and crew. The main actors will see each other again when they promote the movie, but right now there are no plans for them to reunite for another film/series. John Boyega got serious with his love for Joonas Suotamo, as Suotamo shared on his Instagram:

We’ve seen each Star Wars hero wrapping one after the other — from Anthony Daniels as C-3PO to the BB-8 puppeteer, to director J.J. Abrams himself. He started the new trilogy by directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Rian Johnson directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX concludes this third trilogy, and the title is apparently only known by him at this point. The title and first trailer may be coming in April through Star Wars Celebration, but that’s just speculation.

Star Wars: Episode IX, or whatever it will eventually be called, is scheduled to open in theaters December 20. Bookmark our handy 2019 movie release date schedule to keep up with everything releasing in theaters this year.

Watch Will Smith ‘Vandalize’ Library DVDs On The Bad Boys 3 Set

After years of development hell and false starts, Will Smith is finally filming Bad Boys 3. The action movie is currently filming and Smith found an interesting way to keep himself occupied between takes. While filming in a public library, Smith began to autograph DVDs of his old movies, which he admitted was probably vandalism and he shouldn’t have done it. Well, the consequences must not have been that bad because he posted a funny video of it online. Check it out.

Will Smith has had a lot of hit movies over the years, with some of his most popular being Independence Day, Men in Black, and Bad Boys. Why, I bet if you walked into your local library and browsed the DVD collection, you would find plenty of Will Smith movies to rent at your leisure. That was the case at the library Smith found himself filming in for Bad Boys 3.

At least one scene in Bad Boys 3 appears to take place at a library, which is about as hardcore of a location you can get for an action movie because learning is badass, kids. Will Smith found a pretty humorous way to keep himself occupied during downtime by autographing Will Smith movies from the DVD section. This even included films he was barely involved in, like the Karate Kid reboot that starred his son, Jaden Smith.

Now, as anybody who has had a library card in their life likely knows, doing something like this is a big no-no. The library isn’t too big a fan of people vandalizing their material, which is what Will Smith admits he is doing a few times in the above Facebook video. So, you can imagine why the film’s location scout has to hop on the phone to figure out what the ramifications of this are going to be.

One could imagine that some library fines might be coming Will Smith’s way, which would be ironic considering the value of those DVDs has likely shot up now that they have the actor’s official signature. Well, whatever the fine may be, I’m sure that one of the most successful movie stars on the planet can afford it.

As for Bad Boys 3, the long-awaited action film finds Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reprising their roles as two Miami narcotics detectives with a penchant for getting into big explosive trouble. The film is directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah with the latest version of the screenplay written by Chris Bremner.

Bad Boys 3 is currently slated to release in theaters on January 17, 2020. That’s still a while away, so be sure to keep yourself occupied with all the movies coming out this year. You can learn about them all in out 2019 movie release guide.

Despite Rumors, Harley Quinn Is Likely To Return For Suicide Squad 2 After All

It may not have been met with the best critical reception, but 2016’s Suicide Squad was definitely a commercial winner for Warner Bros, and the studio is keen on keeping the property alive. The sequel, officially titled The Suicide Squad, is being written and directed by former Marvel Cinematic Universe contributor James Gunn. Earlier this week, word came out that Harley Quinn, one of the main characters from the first Suicide Squad movie, would not return for The Suicide Squad, but it appears that is no longer the case.

Forbes has updated its original reporting on Margot Robbie’s future as Harley Quinn in the DC Extended Universe, as sources close to the production have said that Harley will indeed be present for The Suicide Squad, which is expected to begin production later this year. While this doesn’t constitute official confirmation, given that Harley was one of the most popular elements of Suicide Squad and that Margot Robbie is reprising the character for next year’s Birds of Prey, it does make sense that she would be brought back for The Suicide Squad, if only to establish at least one connective thread between this sequel and its predecessor.

Rather than being a direct sequel to Suicide Squad, The Suicide Squad is reportedly going to be a “relaunch” rather than a direct sequel. This will give Gunn the opportunity to carve out his own vision for the property, and will supposedly result in a lot of new lead characters being brought in. However, assuming this latest update is true, then Harley Quinn will be back for another round of Task Force X action on the big screen, which makes sense given that she’s been one of the Squad’s frequent members since the New 52 reboot in 2011. If I were a betting man, I’d also place odds on Will Smith and Viola Davis reprising Deadshot and Amanda Waller, respectively, in The Suicide Squad as well, but that remains to be seen.

When we last saw Harley Quinn at the end of Suicide Squad, she was being broken out of Belle Reve by The Joker. Judging by the early looks at Birds of Prey, it appears the jestress and the Clown Prince of Crime have since broken up, and the eight DC Extended Universe movie will see Harley teaming up with Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya to protect the young Cassandra Cain, who’s being hunted down by Black Mask because she finds a diamond belonging to the crime world.

It will be a while until we learn how that movie ends, but evidently afterwards, Harley will end up being incarcerated again if she’s going to appear in The Suicide Squad. If Harley will indeed be accompanied by new teammates, it will be interesting to see how her dynamic with them compares to how she was with the previous Squad. It should also be noted that as things stand now, Harley is not expected to appear in Gotham City Sirens, and the Joker/Harley Quinn movie is dead.

You can see Harley Quinn back on the big screen when Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is released in theaters on February 7, 2020, and The Suicide Squad will follow on August 6, 2021.