After transforming into the iconic role of Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad (2016), Margot Robbie is now unsure of where the DCEU will take her next. She will reprise her role in the upcoming The Suicide Squad, but what danger lies ahead for Harley? According to Harleen Quinzel (Robbie) herself, she’s not certain what lies ahead but she is certain that a hiatus from the role is necessary for now. After playing the sympathetic villain turned anti-heroine in Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey, and the upcoming The Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie needs a break. She spoke with Entertainment Weekly and revealed her plans to take some time off from Gotham and the DCEU entirely.
“It was kind of back-to-back filming Birds… and filming this, so I was kind of like, oof, I need a break from Harley because she’s exhausting. I don’t know when we’re going to see her. I’m just as intrigued as everyone else is.”
A sympathetic victim of domestic violence at the hands of the clown prince of crime, Harley was only supposed to be a one-off for Batman: The Animated Series. Harley was originally created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, but became something of a fan favorite and grew a cult following leading to her crossing over from the animated series into the comics. Although Robbie wasn’t the first to play Harley in a live-action film, she was the first to play her on the big screen and the role fits like a glove. While Robbie may be taking a hiatus from the DCEU as Harley Quinn, there’s no need to worry about Harley vanishing off the grid. Harley still has excellent representation in the Harley Quinn animated series, where she is voiced by Kaley Cuoco.
In addition, Robbie had absolutely no idea about her character’s fate mentioned in the ‘Knightmare’ epilogue in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. In this Elseworlds scene, Batman and Joker get into their longstanding debate where brilliance meets insanity, and during this moment it’s revealed that Harley is in fact deceased; Harley died in the arms of Batman. In the same EW interview, Robbie was informed of her alter ego’s fate, to which her rebuttal was: “Whaaat? I didn’t know that. Thank you for telling me!” She went on to add:
“The film version of the DC universe, I actually think they’re a lot like the comics. You pick up one comic and something’s happening and then you pick up the next comic and maybe that character’s not alive, maybe that character’s not with that person, maybe that character looks completely different. Each movie is its own sort of thing, and I think that works in the comic book world, and I think that works in the DC film world as well. It’s not like Marvel where everything is more obviously linked in a more linear way. It feels like there’s so many adjacent stories, worlds, and films happening at the same time, just like there are in the comics. So, yeah, I didn’t know that, but it doesn’t necessarily change what other people are able to do with this universe, I don’t think.”
In the comics, there is a plethora of storylines and timelines that span across the multiverse which makes the possibilities endless for when Harley can (and will) return. With multiple Batman portrayals on the big screen and the new upcoming Superman which takes place outside the DCEU, it isn’t unheard of to see the same characters in Elseworlds storylines. Whether it be alongside a new Suicide Squad, in a love story with Poison Ivy (similar to many stories in comics and more recently in the Harley Quinn animated series), or even paired up with a new Joker, the next adventure for Harley is currently up in the air. It will be interesting to see when she returns to the role and which classic story from the DC world will bring us the return of the emancipated Harley Quinn. What stories would you like to see the DCEU bring to the big screen in order to bring back Harley?