Tarantino Gave Margot Robbie His Blessing to Use ‘Pulp Fiction’ for ‘Birds of Prey’ Working Title

Margot Robbie is reprising her comic book role of Harley Quinn in Warner Bros.’ 2020 tentpole “Birds of Prey,” which she tells MTV News will share the anarchic, subversive spirit of Quentin Tarantino films like “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction.” However, that’s not the only connection between “Birds of Prey” and Robbie’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” director. The movie, directed by “Dead Pigs” filmmaker Cathy Yan, was made under the working title “Fox Force Five,” a direct reference to one of the most legendary scenes in Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.”

The scene in question is the conversation Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) while sharing milkshakes before they compete in the dance competition. Mia tells Vincent about a television pilot she shot called “Fox Force Five” that never made it to air, a career milestone she calls her “fifteen minutes” of fame. The show centered around an all-female team of secret agents, each with her own identity and skill set. Mia’s character was “the deadliest woman in the world with a knife,” while the other agents included a Japanese kung fu master, a demolition expert, and a French girl whose “specialty was sex.”

Robbie, a lifelong Tarantino fan, immediately saw the connection between “Fox Force Five” and her tentpole “Birds of Prey,” in which her Harley Quinn forms a makeshift all-female superhero group with Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) to protect a young girl against the evil Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).

The “five prominent women” in “Birds of Prey” lined up perfectly with “Fox Force Five,” Robbie told MTV News. The actress asked Tarantino if he would be okay with her using his “Pulp Fiction” name for her film’s working title, to which he gave his blessing. “He thought it was really funny,” Robbie added.

Robbie has been a Tarantino fan long before she was an actress. As the Oscar nominee told IndieWire before filming “Hollywood,” “Beyond anything, I’ve just always wanted to see him work. And I want to see how he runs a set, and how he directs people, and what the vibe is onset, and what’s in the script, and then what happens on the day. I’m just fascinated by all of it, fascinated. So it’s going to be a crazy experience to witness it firsthand. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing.”

Robbie’s “Birds of Prey” is set for release from Warner Bros. on February 7, 2020. The actress can be seen as Sharon Tate in Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” starting July 26.

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