James Gunn’s Approach To Harley Quinn In The Suicide Squad Will Make Comic Fans Very Happy

Harley Quinn and her egg sandwhich

The DC live-action universe has had a fascinating tenure in theaters, as Warner Bros. constantly readjusts and pivots following the release of each new movie. One character that the DCEU has placed a ton of stock in is Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, who was the scene stealer of Suicide Squad in 2017. She got a spinoff in Birds of Prey, and will appear for a third time in James Gunn's upcoming blockbuster The Suicide Squad. And the visionary director's tease about Harley's upcoming plot line should make comic book fans very happy.

Harley Quinn was first introduced in Batman: The Animated series, before being adapted for the comics, video games, and eventually movies. She's a fan favorite villain, so fans are eager to see how her story will continue to move forward with The Suicide Squad. When asked about her arc in his DC debut, James Gunn teased the comic book influence on her characterization, saying:

Well, that's exciting. James Gunn is a big comic book fan, and it looks like he's getting his inspiration for Harley Quinn from Paul Dini's time working on the character. Although just how that all plays out remains to be seen.

James Gunn shared his vision for Harley Quinn in The Suicide Squad over on his personal Twitter page. While the social media outlet previously got him into hot water that resulted in his (temporary) firing from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, he's since returned to Twitter and uses it to directly communicate with the rabid fans. Moviegoer are eager for any hints about his two highly anticipated comic book movies, especially the upcoming DC debut.

Paul Dini is a beloved comic book animator and writer. His work has extended to both the page and screen, even helping as a writer in Lost. Dini is the mind that created Harley Quinn for the Batman animated series, and eventually brought her onto the page as well. In addition to Harley solo comics, he also wrote for her in Gotham City Sirens, a group of femme fatales that include Poison Ivy and Catwoman. He's worked on the character for decades, so it's exciting that James Gunn is taking inspiration from the source for The Suicide Squad.

Knowing Paul Dini's influence in The Suicide Squad, what exactly is James Gunn planning for Margot Robbie's signature DC character? Smart money says that Gunn will craft a colorful blockbuster, and give Harley Quinn some exciting new looks. Photos from the set revealed that Harley is going to be given her red and black look, which will also be reflected in her newly regrown pigtails. Although aside from her appearance, I'm most interested to see how the character's story will be moving forward.

Birds of Prey was a game changer for Harley Quinn. Following her breakup with Jared Leto's Joker, Cathy Yan's blockbuster showed Harley finding her independence and a group of female friends. The movie ended with Harley and Cassandra Cain starting their own business together, although actress Ella Jay Basco isn't attached to James Gunn's ensemble cast of actors for The Suicide Squad.

The Suicide Squad is currently set to arrive in theaters on August 6th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. 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. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.