With how popular the pair are among cosplaying couples, anyone unfamiliar with the Joker and Harley Quinn might think them one of comics’ most enduring couples. In some ways they are, seeing as how the characters are immensely popular both together and solo, but their relationship is far from what anyone could call stable. In David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, this dysfunctional, toxic love story will be adapted for the first time on the big screen, delivering what will inevitably become the de facto interpretation for mainstream audiences.

The Joker and Harley Quinn have clearly been featured heavily in the film’s marketing, but we shouldn’t expect their relationship to be the centerpiece of the film. That’s obviously reserved for whatever mission Task Force X is sent on. But Harley’s transformation from psychiatrist to psycho at the hands of the Joker and the lingering effects the abusive relationship has on her will surely be an important element in the film.

In the comics and cartoons, Harley has struck out on her own many times, only to fall back into bad habits (and the Joker’s all too welcoming arms). Margot Robbie has referred to their relationship in Suicide Squad as unhealthy” and “addictive, so it sounds as though the film will chart a similar path, with Harley either tempted or manipulated into again joining forces with Joker. And it seems that’s what can be inferred from this new still from film found in an upcoming issue of Rolling Stone (via ComicBook.com). Check it out below:

Suicide Squad Harley Quinn and the Joker New Suicide Squad Still: Harley Quinn & The Joker Get Close

The Suicide Squad trailers have been wonderfully chaotic – full of fast cuts, high energy, and a killer soundtrack. Yet the same zaniness that makes them so appealing has also made it difficult to piece together when certain scenes will happen. Obviously, we can assume any scene where Robbie isn’t as pale as a ghost comes pre-acid bath, but those scenes where she’s in full-on Harley Quinn mode are less clear. That’s what makes the new still so interesting, since this encounter likely comes some time after Harley is already on the job with Task Force X.

Another mystery surrounding the film is what, exactly, the Joker’s role will be in Suicide Squad outside of “creating” Harley Quinn. He isn’t expected to be the main villain, so we’ve theorized his involvement in the movie is more like throwing a wrench in the gears, ruining whatever original plan Task Force X may have had. There’d be no better way for that to happen than for Joker to start pulling on Harley’s strings, manipulating her back under his control. And were that to happen, this new photo of him snapping at her might be what brings her back to her senses, reminding Harley why she’s better off without him in the first place. Then again, maybe not, and perhaps Suicide Squad ends with the devious duo reunited and ready to terrorize Ben Affleck in the DCEU’s upcoming Batman solo film.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on June 19, 2020.

Source: Rolling Stone (via CBM)

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