If you read my thoughts on DC’s dark and gritty approach, you know I wasn’t crazy about Man of Steel or the thought of a DC Cinematic Universe pigeonholing itself into such a narrow approach to filmmaking. If you know me personally, you know I like almost everything David Ayer has done (Sabotage had a shitty screenwriter). And now according to Collider, Margot Robbie will star in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad as Harley Quinn. Latino Review recently mentioned Cara Delevingne was in talks for the role but that seems to have faded away for now.
Some quick history on Harley Quinn: Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel was once Joker’s psychiatrist in Arkham Asylum before falling to his disturbing charms and becoming his partner in life and crime. Their relationship is twisted and often viewed as a study of abusive relationships. Pretty ballsy when you take into account how she made her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series. Though her initial appearances kept her attached to Joker’s hip, essentially his greatest victim, Harley has gone on to distance herself from the clown prince of crime from time to time. How great would it be to see Harley from her lowest point, robbing banks and committing mass murder with the Joker, before turning her life around and becoming an anti-hero? David Ayer has described Suicide Squad as a Dirty Dozen story with supervillains, and Harley is about as rough as the crowd gets (minus, you know, JOKER). One of my favorite story bits in any iteration is Harley’s close friendship with Poison Ivy as two supervillains who happen to be gorgeous women. They demand just as much respect as their male supervillain cohorts. I wouldn’t mind seeing Harley and Ivy teaming up on the big screen down the line (Think Thelma & Louise with Batman villains). Also, it could possibly give us this and this.
The Joker might also make an appearance in Suicide Squad since The Wrap reports that was the role Ryan Gosling was being sought after. He backed out after not wanting to be stuck in a multi-picture contract. New front-runner is Jared Leto, who just won an Oscar for Dallas Buyer’s Club. Joker and Harley are initially a dynamic duo but as I mentioned above, I think it’d be a missed opportunity to see them not outgrow each other.
I’m still tempering my expectations because if there’s anything Man of Steel got so, so right, it was the casting choices. Margot Robbie’s performance in Wolf of Wall Street is sexy but never gratuitous. She’s elegant but powerful. Harley should be cutesy but never something to be ogled at. With the worst writing, Harley is a sex object with machine guns. At her best, Harley is a potential feminist icon. I hope they know what they’re doing.