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Although they were head over heels for one another during Suicide Squad, when Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) rolls around, The Joker and Harley Quinn are no longer a couple. As the title of the R-rated DC Comics movie indicates, Harley has broken up with the Clown Prince of Crime and embarking on a new chapter of her life.
Despite this super villain pairing being kaput, there’s been talk about if Joker could still show up in Birds of Prey, even in just a cameo capacity. Well, now we have the answer: Jared Leto’s incarnation of the notorious Batman villain will not be present in this movie… at all.
This information comes straight from Harley Quinn herself, Margot Robbie, who told Variety that Joker will not even cameo in Birds of Prey. Last year, set photos leaked that seemingly showed Harley and Joker breaking up, suggesting at one time there were plans for him to appear, even though it didn’t look like Jared Leto was the one playing him (akin to how Zachary Levi’s stunt double stood in as Superman for Shazam!).
Now, with just a month until Birds of Prey’s release, it’s official: there will be no Joker at all. I suppose there’s always the possibility that Margot Robbie is deceiving us (it wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened with a DC Comics movie), but for now, I’m taking her at her word. And it’s not like you need Joker around to learn the specifics of why Harley cut ties with him… you know, other than him just being abusive.
Like Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Jared Leto’s Joker debuted in Suicide Squad, where we saw how they became close and watched his efforts to locate and free Harley from Task Force X, ultimately succeeding at the end. Unlike Robbie’s Harley, Leto’s portrayal of The Joker was met with mixed reactions, and many of his scenes ended up being cut from the final product.
While there had been talk shortly after Suicide Squad’s release about Jared Leto reprising The Joker in other planned movies, such as Gotham City Sirens, as of now, it’s unclear if the actor will ever don the green hair and chalk-white skin again. Throw in how Leto is now playing Morbius for Sony’s Marvel universe and that he was reportedly angry that Warner Bros decided to make the Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, and I’m guessing the prospects of another Leto Joker appearance don’t look too good.
While the current DC Extended Universe has retained some popular elements from its first years of existence, such as Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, the franchise is also going down a much different direction than the one that was envisioned when Suicide Squad was coming out. This includes what’s being done with Harley Quinn (though she’s still set to also return in the Suicide Squad sequel), and as a result, we may never see her share screen time with The Joker again.
Who she will appear alongside in Birds of Prey are Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s Black Canary and Rosie Perez’s Renee Montoya, all of whom team up with Harley Quinn to protect Ella Jay Basco’s Cassandra Cain from crime lord Roman Sionis, a.k.a. Black Mask, played by Ewan McGregor. Cathy Yan directed the picture and Christina Hodson wrote the script.
Birds of Prey opens in theaters on February 7, 2020, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, you can learn what other DC Comics movies are on the way with our comprehensive guide.