Is Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey a Sequel, Soft Reboot, or a Standalone Movie?

margot robbie as harleyquinn in suicide squad
margot robbie in suicide squad at Harley Quinn

When she gets that look in her eyes, it’s time to clear out.

Margot Robbie reprises her standout role from Suicide Squad as Harley Quinn, epic psychotic ex-lover of the Joker. But is this a continuation of 2016’s Suicide Squad, or a soft reboot of the popular character with the same actress? How will this fit into the upcoming Suicide Squad 2, helmed by the beloved James Gunn?

Okay, is Birds of Prey going to be a sequel…or even the middle of a  trilogy?

The answer, to all sources, is YES. To both questions.

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You’re welcome.

Will the Joker be in Birds of Prey?

So far, no. Let’s hope it stays that way.

To many people, Quinn is the best part of the Batman multiverse, often played for laughs, but also understood as a poignant role. Quinn started out doing good (a psychiatrist for the criminally insane), but turned to the Dark Side after being completely worn down and built up by one master manipulating bastard called Joker. Quinn, as in any good case of Stockholm Syndrome, fell madly, completely, and dementedly in love with the Clown Prince of Mayhem.

In her feature film debut in Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn stole the show (her animated incarnations are awesome too).  Audiences fell in love with her entirely. Robbie’s Quinn and Will Smith’s Deadshot carried the entire film. It’s worth watching just for those two. I can overlook Jared Leto’s pitiful Joker rendering and the terrible (Seriously. TERRIBLE) evil villain Wonder Twins in favor of enjoying the good parts of the movie ( I can compartmentalize).

When Quinn smashes a store window to steal a purse and complains, “What? We’re bad guys”, she also stole my heart. You go, nutso lady with no pants!

Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad 1 and 2

Besides Will Smith’s Deadshot (not Deadpool; keep up!), only Harley Quinn  makes the original Suicide Squad feature film stand out. Robbie was fun, funny, and even deeply messed up.

Here is an example of a good actor elevating a mostly-poorly-written role. I think without Robbie’s Quinn, there’d be no talk of a sequel. And certainly no standalone feature about her, which will essentially make Birds of Prey the middle movie in a Suicide Squad trilogy.

The actual Suicide Squad sequel is currently and hopefully helmed by James Gunn, after a clusterfrak of back and forth problems between Disney and Director Gunn.

While this hot Disney mess broke my heart at San Diego’s Saturday’s Comic Con (At Hall H, no less) when Gunn was booted from Guardians of the Galaxy 3 because of decades’ old tasteless Tweets, it’s all worthwhile now. Gunn is back in the saddle for the MCU’s GotG vol 3, plus we get him to fix Suicide Squad 2 in the package.

There aren’t a lot of MCU/DC cross-over talents, so I’m crazy thrilled at how this troubled circle has come around. Two for one, babies!

While Quinn moving from Suicide Squad to the Birds of Prey and back again hasn’t been explained yet, I’m willing to handwave anything that isn’t simply stupid. Perhaps this trilogy will be good enough to fix DC’s notorious story and villain issues?

We’ll see soon if the crazy person in the Harlequin outfit can carry her own movie. As our own ex-Joker-lover Harley Quinn would say, “So what if I’m crazy? The best people are.”

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