birds of prey harley quinn future

Harley Quinn is emancipated and feeling fantabulous about it. Margot Robbie‘s breakout character from the 2016 comic book movie Suicide Squad has been in the shadow of the Joker since her inception — and a fan-favorite for almost as long. Introduced as an ordinary henchman to the Clown Prince of Crime in Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn soon shot up to fan-favorite character status, making the leap to comic books and video games before she finally made her big-screen debut a few years ago.

But in nearly every incarnation of the character, Harley Quinn is paired with the Joker, either as his lover, his victim, or his temporary ex who will always return to him. Birds of Prey looks to change that, with Harley separated from her Mr. J (though not by her own choice at first) and trying to find out who she is outside of the Joker.

“It’s really Harley at a kind of different stage of her life,” Robbie told /Film at a Birds of Prey junket in London.

In a sense, this is Harley Quinn’s origin story, Robbie said of her sociopathic antihero in Birds of Prey. Harley, a longtime Batman rogue and all-around villain, is figuring out who she is and what her place is in Gotham, which she finds to be a very different place once she’s out of the Joker’s protection:

“Her and the Joker break up at the beginning of the film, and I think we got to know our Suicide Squad. With this confidence. This idea that no matter what happens, she’s got Mr. J to come and clean up a mess. And she doesn’t have that anymore. She also had no idea that she pissed off as many people in Gotham as she has. So everyone wants to kill her and it’s hilarious that that’s a shock to her but you know, it just raises the stakes as well.

It so fun to play her at this stage and I think people are going to see a side of Harley they definitely haven’t seen before. Very raw, very, very vulnerable. She’s getting drunk a lot. Making mistakes given terrible life advice to a 10-year-old. It’s fun, you get to see her apartment, or what she eats breakfast you know certain things like that I think people find entertaining.”

Does this mean that Harley is on her way to being a full-fledged superhero now that she’s teamed up with a few do-gooders and vigilantes like Huntress, Black Canary, and Renée Montoya? Not quite. You can’t change a tiger’s stripes, and as we’ll see in Birds of Prey, you can’t scrub away the glittery allure of crime for Harley Quinn. In Birds of Prey, Harley takes Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) under her wing as a pseudo sidekick/mentee, and you can see a future for the two of them filled with shoplifting shenanigans and petty theft. But are there any other characters in Gotham’s colorful history of criminals that Robbie would like to see Harley team up with? Yes, and it’s one that Harley has been frequently paired with in both a romantic and non-romantic capacity:

“There are so many characters that I love and would love to see incorporated. One I’ve been pushing for as long as I’ve been pushing for this film is Poison Ivy. I mean, there’s two versions of that, you know, with some comics, it’s friendship, some comics, it’s romantic. Either way, I want to explore that because I just I love their relationship so much in the comics.”

Harley and Poison Ivy in a Thelma & Louise-style movie? Warner Bros., we’ve already written your sequel.

Birds of Prey hits theaters on February 7, 2020.

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