When the first official image from David Ayer’s Suicide Squad dropped over the weekend, unveiling that film’s sprawling cast in costume, it was met with (as usual) many varied and divided opinions. Yet the character just about everyone was most invested in discussing wasn’t Will Smith’s Deadshot – who even had his own solo image released – or the barely recognizable Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, but instead Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn.
Joker’s on-again/off-again sidekick/girlfriend/punching bag is a tricky character to encapsulate, and though she only first appeared in 1992, Harley Quinn has seen just about as many revisions and redesigns as a character twice her publication age. Naturally, with so many available interpretations of Harley Quinn, it wasn’t entirely clear what Ayer and Robbie would end up creating for Suicide Squad. And now that we’ve seen it, absolutely everyone has an opinion about this version of Harley Quinn.
However, someone whose opinion might matter just a little more than your average internet commentator is that of Harley Quinn co-creator and legendary animator, Bruce Timm. When asked in an interview with Polygon about his upcoming project, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, what he thought of Harley’s look in Suicide Squad, Timm responded:
“I’m actually really excited. I just today, just before the show started, saw the first image of Harley Quinn from the Suicide Squad movie, and I thought ‘Whoa. She looks actually pretty cute!’ I was actually kind of worried I thought ‘Oh, she’s going to look really, really bizarre and skanky’ but nah, she’s not too bad. So I’m often mistaken.”
He later spoke to io9, adding:
“I just saw the pic like a couple hours ago. It was interesting. I was frankly a little nervous about what Harley would look like, but I thought she looked really cool. So I’m optimistic, we see.”
Obviously, a seal of approval from one of the two creators responsible for Harley will go a long way toward easing fans’ concerns. And while some will always wish to see her recreated onscreen just as she first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series, at least Timm seems open to new interpretations of the character.
io9 then went on to ask Timm what he thought were the most important elements to Harley. “I think bottom line the most important thing about her is that she’s funny,” said Timm, adding, “her stories always have to be fun, if not flat out hilarious (but that would be even better).”
We’ll need to see more than a just picture before we’ll know how funny Robbie’s version of Harley Quinn is, but she sure pops with energy when compared to her cast mates. Hopefully, Ayer – who’s both writing and directing Suicide Squad – has taken cues from DC Comics’ current Harley Quinn comic by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, and Chad Hardin. Timm believes that comic really gets the core of Harley’s character, which he describes as “really weird and funny and kind of chaotic.”
What did you think of the first look at Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad? Were you happy to hear Bruce Timm approve of her latest look? Which of Harley’s many different styles do you think would fit best within DC and WB’s movie universe? Drop us a line in the comments below!
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.