It's safe to say Suicide Squad wasn't the most critically well-received movie of the summer. In fact, it probably ranks near the bottom of the list, though that's not to say it doesn't have its share of fans. Commercially, however, Suicide Squad did quite well for itself, and by the time it leaves theaters, its estimated total box office gross will be somewhere between $700-$730 million. That may not be a gigantic box office splash akin to competitors like Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War earlier this year, but with numbers like that, the chances of seeing Suicide Squad 2 seem more likely. However, there's also been speculation about following up Suicide Squad with a spinoff highlighting one of its most popular characters: Harley Quinn. As appealing as that sounds, it's better if the DC Extended Universe delays that particular movie in favor of Suicide Squad 2.
For those who missed the news earlier this year, it was reported that Warner Bros is developing a Harley Quinn-centric movie, which will supposedly feature other notable female DC characters. The project isn't set in stone yet, but considering Harley Quinn's popularity (for example, her new Rebirth comic book series has shipped nearly half a million issues!), it's hard to imagine the studio not seriously considering the project. I myself am a huge Harley Quinn fan, having grown up watching her on Batman: The Animated Series and other DC TV shows. That said, if given the choice between Suicide Squad 2 and a Harley Quinn movie, the former has to come first, if only because it allows for more creative freedom with the Squad-related characters.
Look, Suicide Squad was a narrative disaster. Its story was messy and convoluted, and the optimist in me hopes that the sequel can improve upon those mistakes, whether that means writing a better script or the studio not interfering as much in the creative process. Fortunately, the first movie's saving grace was most of its main characters. Not only did Margot Robbie shine as Harley Quinn, but Will Smith's Deadshot, Jai Courtney's Captain Boomerang, Viola Davis' Amanda Waller and the others impressed a lot of moviegoers with their unique personalities. We need to see more of them in that Squad setting together, interacting and playing off one another. Harley can still entertain us as a leading character in Suicide Squad 2, but at least there she'll be doing so among familiar faces.
Another reason this isn't the right time for Harley Quinn movie is that the criminal jester isn't ready to go adventuring on her own. When we left Harley at the end of Suicide Squad, she had just been broken out of Belle Reve by The Joker and was ecstatic to see her "puddin" again. This is a Harley who is still madly in love with the Clown Prince of Crime and won't ever willingly leave his side. Because Suicide Squad opted not to show the abusive side of their relationship seen in other iterations, we still need set up to Harley eventually leaving him when she realizes just how violent and insane he truly is. Okay, so Harley is violent and insane, too, but at least she is better at connecting with others. Regardless, we need to see this moment of clarity, or at least lay the foundation for it, in either Suicide Squad 2 or the Batman movie, but until that happens, the Harley Quinn spinoff can't be executed properly.
As it stands now, it may be a while before either Suicide Squad 2 or a Harley Quinn spinoff is released in theaters. Warner Bros only has two mystery dates slotted for DC movies, and those may end up going to the Batman movie (most likely) and Man of Steel 2 (not as likely). Nevertheless, whenever a new date becomes open, Suicide Squad 2 is the way to go first. The team already has name recognition among the general audience, the first movie has earned enough to warrant a sequel and it still allows for Harley Quinn to shine in the DCEU. Suicide Squad could have been a much better movie, but there were enough good elements in it that leave me, and hopefully many others, intrigued about a sequel. There would obviously need to be measures taken to make sure mistakes aren't repeated, but if done properly, it could redeem the series and give fans a truly excellent Squad adventure.
Outside of the Suicide Squad series and maybe the Batman series, hopefully Harley Quinn will get to snag the spotlight all to herself on the big screen. We could certainly use more female-led superhero movies, and as it stands now, Wonder Woman is the only one of those in the DCEU. Still, we should be thankful that a spinoff isn't the only way we'll ever see Harley again. It would be great to see her back with the other super villain operatives, and frankly, a Suicide Squad movie wouldn't feel the same without her. Whether she's playfully flirting with Deadshot or throwing an insult at Captain Boomerang, she needs to be involve with the next story. After that movie is released, then Warner Bros can start planning the adventure starring the clown in all her glory. Who knows, maybe they will end up throwing other cool DC heroines and villainesses into the mix, but it'd be preferable if Harley was the main focus.
Would you rather see Suicide Squad 2 be released first or does a Harley Quinn movie sound more appealing? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget that Suicide Squad is still playing in theaters.