This summer DC's Harley Quinn is hitting the big screen in Suicide Squad, portrayed by actress Margot Robbie alongside a cast that might redefine the standard comic book movie ensemble. One of DC's most intriguing antagonists, Harley has gone from the comedic and insane sidekick of Joker in Batman: The Animated Series to a survivor of abuse with a knack for trickery and flashy explosions in her own (multiple) comic book series. Harley is beloved by scores of DC fans, and as we count down the months until Suicide Squad's debut, Robbie sat down to explain the Harley that we'll see on-screen.
Robbie explained that Suicide Squad will deliver a Harley who is still in the heat of a maniacal one-sided romance with the Joker, and at her peak when it comes to her madness. Harley's background as a psychiatrist will also come into play, with the character's memory of her education being incorporated into her own villainous tactics of manipulation.
The actress sat down with the LA Times at this past week's CinemaCon to explain how all of that plays into who Harley is now. Robbie went as far as saying that this treatment isn't just limited to Harley's foes, but other members of Task Force X.
"She's definitely one of the more unpredictable members of the squad. She also used to be a psychiatrist so she has an extensive knowledge of mental illnesses and how to manipulate people -- I'm sorry, well, she has a lot of knowledge on how to profile people, pick their triggers, and as Harley Quinn she kind of utilizes that to just manipulate people and mess with them. She's always picking someone to be dissecting and playing off and messing with."
The relationship between Harley Quinn and the Joker is one of the longest-running examples of a toxic, manipulative relationship, and in Suicide Squad, fans will find the pair (or at least Harley) wildly in love -- to the point of insanity:
"It's an incredibly dysfunctional relationship ... She's mad about him -- like, literally, mad. She's crazy. But she loves him. And it's a really unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship. But an addictive one."
Joker's manipulation of Harley was one of the recurring key themes in her stories, from Paul Dini/Bruce Timm era Harley and throughout the Arkham video game series. In both trailers for Suicide Squad, Joker can be seen torturing Dr. Harleen Quinzel before throwing her into a vat of chemicals, mirroring her new 52 Origin from 2012's Suicide Squad #7. While Suicide Squad will be an ensemble film, the focus on Harley Quinn's beginnings makes for an interesting introduction to one of the DCEU's most dangerous new women.
Branching off from the heavy subject of relationships, Robbie went on to describe what she managed to smuggle away from set. "I did take the jacket, and I did take the bat. I have it next to my bed, so if anyone breaks in I'll be like, 'nuh-uh!'"
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: LA Times