Every DC Comics film looks to be going its own way in spite of having shared a connected universe. Films like Aquaman and Shazam! did very little to acknowledge the world that their characters shared with the other superheroes. These movies were huge hits and also box office successes. It seems like Birds of Prey is now going to follow this suit in spite of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn character having made an appearance in 2016’s Suicide Squad film.
While there are no other actors from Suicide Squad making appearances in Birds of Prey other than Robbie, this story threads can actually be strung up as themes for this character which do not rely on knowledge of the character’s previous appearance.
“I think something I explored a lot in Suicide Squad, the first film, was Harley’s co-dependence with the Joker,” Robbie had said. “And obviously, he has a huge influence on her. But, obviously, she was very much in a relationship with him when we first saw Harley onscreen in Suicide Squad. And I did want to explore what is the version of Harley out of a relationship, and whether she’s out of a relationship on her own accord or he’s kind of kicked her to the curb. But it still affects her, but in a very different way. And I thought we’d see a very different facet of her personalities. Personalities, I would say. Because I think she has multiple.”
Harley is set to be an unreliable narrator of the Birds of Prey film.
“Looking at Harley specifically, I’d say her aesthetic is kind of dictated on her relationship status, and whether she’s in a relationship with Joker, you’re going to get the version of Harley that is what you see in Suicide Squad. And then this version, where she’s clearly not with the Joker, and it is erratic, and it’s different.”
The director Cathy Yan had embraced this challenge of picking up a character that had been introduced in Suicide Squad and created enough distance from the movie to have her very own version of Harley.
“Yeah, it’s definitely a challenge because you want to pay homage to not just the comic books but then also the films before it,” Yan said. “And obviously we’ve seen Margot play Harley before in Suicide Squad. And so, you know, it’s definitely a fun challenge to figure out like what do we keep from that’s version of Harley in one way differentiate.”
The answer to how exactly Birds of Prey is connected to Suicide Squad, it isn’t.
“This is a standalone movie, and it’s not a sequel or tied in any way to Suicide Squad,” Sue Kroll said.
Yan had equated the absence of Joker as a disconnection from the previous movie.
“I think that given what the story’s about and her emancipation and that she’s out on her own and she’s not connected the Joker, and with Suicide Squad, she’s so connected to the Joker,” Yan had said.
“I mean their story is so intertwined, and it really is a love story if you will. And this is not, and so I think that gave us a lot of opportunity to say like, what is she like, not necessarily post joker, but just in almost like a parallel universe and allowed, I think all of us freedom to say like we’re going to create a different Gotham.”
In the movie, Harley’s hair will be different. Her costume is also different, and her language is R-rated.