A few weeks ago, we reported that Will Smith, Tom Hardy, and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) were close to signing on to Suicide Squad, a film director David Ayer describes as “The Dirty Dozen with supervillains.” Hot on the heels of learning that Jared Leto is being courted to play The Joker, we have now learned from sources that Robbie will play Harley Quinn. For those who don’t know the character, she was introduced in Batman: The Animated Series as the Joker’s girlfriend/henchwoman, and has gone on to become a popular rogue/anti-hero in her own right. This will be the first time the character has ever been portrayed on the big screen.
Comic book fans know Harley Quinn by name, but the average moviegoer might look at her and wonder, “Why did they create a female Joker?” Her origin is tied in with the Clown Prince of Crime, and while I don’t know how far Suicide Squad will delve into their history, it’s necessary to have the two together.
I’m a big fan of Harley Quinn, and I’ll be the first to admit that’s kind of fucked up since she relishes her abusive relationship. She’s another one of the Joker’s sick jokes since she was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum (her real name is “Harleen Quinzel”) who tried analyzing the Joker, and he psychologically manipulated her into being infatuated with him. The best Harley Quinn stories have managed to balance both the tragedy of her situation with the character’s lighthearted nature.
As for Robbie, I don’t know if she’s a good fit because I don’t know how they’re writing the character for the movie. Is she supposed to be “grounded”? How do you re-dress a character who first appeared wearing a jester’s hood, white pancake makeup, and a black-and-red leotard? I’m sure it’s possible; I’m just curious to see how they’ll handle it.
No matter the depiction (and I assume it will be reasonable and not this), casting Robbie is a smart move on the production’s part. She got people’s attention with Wolf of Wall Street, and with upcoming roles in Focus, Tarzan, Z for Zachariah, and The Taliban Shuffle, she should be a bigger name by the time Suicide Squad rolls around.