UPDATE: Harley Quinn is expected to appear in The Suicide Squad after all, according to sources affiliated with the film.
Harley Quinn isn't expected to appear in James Gunn's new Suicide Squad movie for Warner Bros. and DC Comics. 2016's Suicide Squad performed well at the box office, especially internationally, but it was not received well critically. The movie is considered one of the weaker entries in the DCEU. Of the film's various elements though Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn was widely considered a high point. It's partly due to this success that Harley Quinn is spinning off into a Birds of Prey film.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is taking control of the Suicide Squad franchise in his move from Marvel to DC and is determined to bring his own twist to the squad. It's already been confirmed that Gunn's The Suicide Squad would be a reboot of sorts for the team. With Harley's exclusion though it seems that the film will be a complete break from its predecessor.
A report by Forbes revealed some new information about Gunn's take on the group of DC anti-heroes. According to the report the movie will feature a new cast of characters and will avoid any direct tie-in to the first movie. Harley Quinn is not expected to be involved in any capacity as James Gunn's script is "a new approach and rethinking of the property."
It's not particularly surprising that Harley won't be involved in Gunn's The Suicide Squad. It's not exactly as if the DCEU is throwing out her character entirely. With Harley's starring role in the Birds of Prey movie, the movie universe still have plans for The Joker's (ex) girlfriend. Birds of Prey (and beyond) can still pick up on the story threads for Harley's character that begun in the original Suicide Squad. However Harley's exclusion and the information that there's a new cast does suggest quite a bit about Gunn's direction for the movie.
It's not clear if the new cast of The Suicide Squad refers to the squad itself or the entire movie. Even if Gunn does bring a very different energy and tone to the property it seems rather impossible to do a Suicide Squad movie without Viola Davis' Amanda Waller involved. Waller is the reason that the Squad exists being the mastermind behind the group and/or the reason the group of criminals doesn't just run wild. Regardless of Waller though Harley being out suggests that every other character from the Squad in the first film, including Will Smith's Deadshot, will be equally absent. This would be the easiest and cleanest way for Gunn to do what is intended and cut out any obvious ties to the first movie.
From the outset this might make The Suicide Squad seem like a bit of challenge. The first film involved a great deal of characters who are famous for being on the Squad in the comics especially in the modern era. However James Gunn has proven track record of taking rather obscure or older characters from the source material and revitalizing them for the movie adaptation. None of the current Guardians of the Galaxy cast were household names before their cinematic debut and James Gunn's take on their characters. If James Gunn can make everyone love Rocket Raccoon, he can do the same with a DC character like King Shark.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
- The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022