Long before the movie ever hit theaters, fans of DC Comics knew that the world wouldn’t be the same after Suicide Squad unleashed a live-action Harley Quinn upon the comic book world. And while the critical reception of the villains-only film wasn’t what DC Films or Warner Bros. would have hoped, the commercial success meant it had connected where it ultimately needed to. And, no surprise, it was a Harley Quinn-led spinoff movie that was soon bandied about behind closed doors.
Those rumors turned to facts, as Margot Robbie confirmed she would be executive producing such a venture, with an increased focus on not just Harley, but the other femme fatales of the DC (and, more specifically, Gotham) universe. Now, word has surfaced that Robbie won’t just be leading the charge, but will re-team with Suicide Squad director David Ayer for the upcoming Gotham City Sirens.
The word comes courtesy of THR, reporting the new deal which will see Robbie and Ayer join forces, with Ayer producing and directing, and Robbie executive producing and reprising her role as the infamous Harley Quinn. The details fall in line with the previous reports of Robbie taking a larger role in the production, with Ayer now bringing his style and vision to a screenplay coming from Geneva Robertson-Dworet – most recently in the headlines for penning the script for the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot. DC’s Geoff Johns and WB’s Jon Berg will also be producing.
There’s no word yet on just which of the comic book version of the Sirens will be making the leap to the big screen. We’ve previously run down our list of DC ladies who should appear, but at least based on the title, it seems Catwoman and Poison Ivy should sit at the top of the list. The site’s sources also claim that a standard Suicide Squad sequel is also in the works, as well as a spinoff focused on Will Smith’s Deadshot. But since those projects are still in earlier stages of development compared to Sirens (evidence of just how ready Ayer and Robbie are to proceed), this is the first to move forward.
The news arrives on the same day that Suicide Squad release for home video, alongside its Extended Cut (a longer, and better, if not vastly different version of the story). It’s unsurprising to hear that a Suicide Squad sequel hasn’t been pushed into production based on the box office returns alone, since the critical reception to Ayer’s vision of DC’s villains is one that studio executives will be dissecting for weeks, if not months to come following home video sales. But if there was one element of the film that struck a chord with advertisers, moviegoers, and critics, it was Margot Robbie’s off-kilter, but unstoppable personality as Harley Quinn – arguably outshining even Jared Leto’s Joker.
It was a combination of Ayer and Robbie who created that cinematic experiment (along with countless others in the production team), and by all accounts, Ayer’s vision and interaction with the cast was praised by all involved. Now the question becomes extending that creative spark to new members of the DC Comics universe. While there will be many a disappointed, underwhelmed, or outraged moviegoer who wish such a task would fall to a different director, it shouldn’t be understated: Ayer managed to faithfully adapt one of the most mercurial, manic characters in the DC catalogue so well, it was a question of when, not if she would receive a follow-up blockbuster.
With producers, a director and writer in place, the speculation can now turn to just how many more women will claim the spotlight in the DCEU, and how they’ll be chosen. For the fans responsible for the movie’s mammoth box office, that is a very exciting proposition.