Suicide Squad Director David Ayer Reflects On Missteps With Harley Quinn’s Story

Harley in Suicide Squad

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The DC live-action universe is a fascinating place, and it's had plenty of peaks and valleys during its tenure in theaters. While Warner Bros. seems to have found its footing with the most recent releases, the earliest installments in the DCEU failed to resonate with audiences. That includes David Ayer's 2016 blockbuster Suicide Squad. The villain-centric movie failed to perform critically, although it did introduce fan favorite characters like Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. But not Ayer is seemingly admitting that he misstepped a bit with the femme fatale.

Suicide Squad was highly anticipated ahead of its release, as the DC Extended Universe was only just coming together. When the film's first trailer arrived, audiences immediately responded to the mixture of smart-mouthed villains and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". But the movie left much to be desired, partly due to reported studio involvement to make the movie appear closer to the trailer. David Ayer recently posted a photo of Jared Leto's Joker, and posted an almost poetic tribute to Harley, and her role in the movie. He wrote:

Movies are fragile. They are like dreams, haunting moments that run from your vision. They have their own logic and truth. If you change the destination after the trip is complete is it still the same journey? The spine of Suicide Squad was Harley’s journey. In many ways it was her movie, her escaping her relationship with Joker was the major emotional through line. A director holds an invisible compass in their hands. It guides every shot, every performance. That compass points to the destination. If the destination changes did the journey even happen?

Well, that's deep. It looks like David Ayer might have some regrets when it comes to Harley Quinn's story in Suicide Squad. Because while she remained the undisputed fan favorite of the movie, the movie was ultimately crafted into another experience altogether.

Related: Suicide Squad Director David Ayer Is Psyched About James Gunn Doing The Sequel

David Ayer's Instagram post accompanies an image of Jared Leto's Joker from a deleted Suicide Squad scene. He's shown pointing a gun at Harley's head, although the context remains a mystery. Much of Leto's role in the movie was left on the cutting room floor, with Joker playing a tertiary role in the movie. But there was originally much much of Harley and Joker, likely highlighting the unhealthy nature of the relationship. You can read up on that dynamic through their relationship in the comics- available here.

You can see the image David Ayer shared below.

David Ayer's post

Luckily for Harley Quinn, her story and vindication from Joker is coming in a few months. Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) will bring back the femme fatale in the wake of a breakup with Mr. J. She'll make a group of female friends along the way, before the character has her whopping third movie appearance in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad.

Birds of Prey will hit theaters on February 7th, 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.