Warner Bros. wants to give Harley Quinn her own spinoff
The DC Comics Cinematic Universe (DCCU) is in the process of refocusing after being rocked back on its heels a bit by the lukewarm performance of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (yes, $868 million globally isn’t the box office it used to be). Suicide Squad opted for an expensive round of reshoots, Ezra Miller’s Flash movie lost a director, Ben Affleck was elevated to the role of Executive Producer on Justice League, and rumors swirled that James Wan was becoming frustrated with Aquaman. The newest response to the grim BvS follows the same thinking as making Affleck an EP and letting him direct his own Batman movie in the future: follow the charismatic actors and hope audiences do too. This time it’s Margot Robbie, who is apparently so good in this fall’s Suicide Squad that she’s got the studio interested in a DC Comics female-focused movie.
The news comes from The Hollywood Reporter, who says Robbie and Warner Bros. are contemplating Harley Quinn’s return. It’s unclear what stage of development this movie is at or when it would fit into the schedule of other DCCU movies that Warner Bros. remains semi-committed to. Apparently, when Margot Robbie was researching the character of Harley for Suicide Squad, she ended up with an affinity for DC’s lineup of female heroes and villains. Together with a (currently unnamed and mysterious) female screenwriter, she developed an idea for a film that would have Harley return alongside some of these characters.
Suicide Squad doesn’t come out until August 5, but the confirmed rumors of reshoots mixed with the unconfirmed rumors that the movie had a dour tone the studio wanted to correct. Either way, buzz on the film and reaction to the trailers have put the spotlight on Margot Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn. This is the first time the character, created for Batman: The Animated Series, has made it into a movie. Warner Bros is apparently ready to ride the good will of Robbie’s performance through Suicide Squad regardless of the outcome. The report on the new movie says that she’s not only going to return as Harley, but produce the project as well.
The rest of the details contain a lot of buzzwords for fans of DC Comics: “Details are being closely guarded but names such as Batgirl and Birds of Prey have surfaced, although in what capacity, it’s not clear. Warner Bros. isn’t commenting” The Birds of Prey is DC Comics’ new banner to include all the crime-fighting females of Gotham (Black Canary, Oracle/Batgirl, Lady Blackhawk, Hawk, Huntress, Hawkgirl, and Dove). The New 52 lineup of the Birds of Prey even includes Katana (who appears in the Suicide Squad movie) and Poison Ivy. Basically, all female heroes and villains are on the table at this speculative point. Early fan reaction indicates people would love to see Batgirl take on Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.
The DCCU is also beginning to rely on women characters to pull them through some tough time for the Bat and the Man of Steel. Wonder Woman is going to be the first superheroine from the Big Two comic book companies to get her own installment in a shared universe (something Marvel won’t get to until Captain Marvel), and now a project that might unite some of the most beloved characters of the DC Comics has scored a female writer and a female producer.
The positives of this move outweigh the negatives this early in the game. While this is all speculation, fans can have a Harley Quinn movie both with and without the Joker (Jared Leto), for example. Eventually, the details of the project will need to solidify and a place will be found for it on the schedule. The key thing is that nothing will be locked down until Warner Bros. can know how Suicide Squad and Harley Quinn perform in the wild.
The danger of letting this DC movie get the greenlight is the same danger we faced last decade with characters like Elektra and Catwoman with their eponymous films: when female-led movies failed, the Hollywood system thought it was a sign that the audience didn’t want female heroes. This is potentially more vulnerable to a similar understanding as it’s a movie about women conceived by women and written by women.
Like all future DCCU movies, the future of several properties hang in the balance. All we can do is brace ourselves for the next incoming installment. Suicide Squad: batter up.
Source: News – Geek.com