Harley Quinn is perhaps the second best known female DC character, after Wonder Woman. The character herself is less than 25 years old, which in comic book time is not very long, but her popularity has skyrocketed ever since she first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series back in 1992. Fans have been waiting with anticipation to see the character in a live-action film and their wait is coming to a close, with the release of Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016. With so many incarnations of the character throughout various media let us take a look at where the inspiration of Margot Robbie’s portrayal of the iconic character came from.
Tell Me a Joke and See If You Can Make Me Laugh
One thing the trailer did reveal to fans is that Harley’s origin story will be explored at some point during the film. Whether it will be through flashbacks or happen at the beginning of the film remains unclear, but it does show they are sticking to her true origins. It’s clear that at some point in the film we’ll see Harley as Dr Harleen Quinzel, a (ostensibly sane) psychiatrist who’s assigned to the Joker during his psychiatric treatment. Given how the images above show the true transference from comic print to film, it seems we can expect to see her origins play out just as they always have. She will find love with her patient, and this will catalyse her descent into madness.
It’s this madness which will, of course, land her in Belle Reve- and secure her place on the squad. In among a crew with an elite marksman, a Killer Croc and a guy with pyrokinesis, Harley may seem like a bit of a weak link- but Margot Robbie the ace up Harley’s sleeve:
She used to be a gymnast — that’s her skill set when fighting.
It seems that Harley will be putting her gymnastic abilities to the test, and joining the likes of Katana as one of the squad’s up-front brawlers. If you’re still doubting Harley’s chops a punchy heroine, crafted her character:
“Whenever I would be inclined to play into the comedy or play her more likable, he’d always direct me the other way. He wanted her to be pretty vicious.”
Although the trailers may point to a ditsy, funny Harley (more on that later), it certainly sounds like this interation of Quinn is going to a be force to be reckoned with.
But Puddin’ I’ve Got Nothing to Wear.
Harley is one of those characters that has adopted various looks and styles, and Margot’s version appears to be closely aligned to Harley’s incarnation in the Arkhamverse. Both the upcoming movie and video game series portray her with blonde hair, with dip-dyed color at the ends. Her clothes are also more tight and sexual, which has become Harley’s look more over recent years.
There are also several callbacks and nods to her previous looks, one being the smiley face we witness on the bottom of her mallet. However the one many fans are loving is her choker necklace. The necklace simply says the word “Puddin”, which is one of Harley’s most iconic phrases that she uses.
It’s all about personality, Mr J.
Throughout her , Harley’s personality has always been uniquely fascinating. While Harley is clinically insane in the comics and other media, she has never portrayed as completely ditsy and clueless. Some fans have found the character appears to be much more sexual and clueless in the trailers than she has ever been portrayed before. With this only being taken from short trailers, it is difficult to see if this is how the character will be truly portrayed- but some fans are apprehensive over this change in personality and portrayal. While the character has exhibited sexual and clueless traits in the comics, it is typically reserved for her interactions with the Joker. This is her way of showing her devotion to him and making him feel superior to her. Margot Robbie has said of her character:
“She loves causing mayhem and destruction”
So ,we can expect to see her causing some good old chaotic mayhem which all Harley fans have come to expect from the character.
Harley and The Joker…Sitting in a Tree…
One typical trait Harley always has is her blind devotion to the Joker. While the trailer gives us glimpses of the pair together, it does not make it quite clear as to how devoted she is to her man. However, one interesting note behind all the promotional images of the team for Suicide Squad, is that the Joker is not pictured with the team once. This sticks true to comic lore, as Joker isn’t a member of the squad; but the character’s role in the film has been kept a secret. Although we know that Common’s ‘Monsta T’ will be causing some havoc, it’s still unclear who the primary antagonist will be for the film. Could it be Joker? If it is, does that mean Harley will turn on her team? Needless to say, if he is the villain and she does not join forces with him, Harley fans will go crazy. It would be breaking the main rule of Harley, and that is “It’s all about Mr J!” This is mainly because the pair love to love each other and love to hate each other equally, which results in brilliant couple squabbles between the pair. Margot has said;
“She’s incredibly devoted to the Joker. They have a dysfunctional relationship, but she loves him anyway.
Oh, come on, Puddin’! Don’t you wanna rev up your “Harley”? Vroom vroom!
What do you think of the Suicide Squad Harley so far? Do you think they are creating a new interpretation of the character, or are they creating an amalgam from past Harleys? Share your thoughts below!
I’m currently studying a degree for Film Production and Cinematography.