The DC superhero universe is in the middle of some big changes as James Gunn and Peter Safran take over. As the studio wipes the slate clean and begins anew, does this mean we’ll lose beloved actors like Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn? It’s very likely, considering the Australian actress herself says she always saw Gotham’s Wild Card as a character that would be passed on to different actors over time.
The DCEU is officially over as of last month when Aquaman 2 hit theaters and ended the 10-year saga. With the new DCU already well underway (the sets are being built for the first DCU movie, Superman: Legacy), fans are wondering what remnants of the DCEU will carry over. Many were hopeful that Margot Robbie would return at least one more time as the iconic Harley Quinn.
Margot Robbie played Harley Quinn in three DCEU movies: Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey, and The Suicide Squad. Her performance was lauded in all three, with the actress’s name becoming synonymous with the modern version of the character. James Gunn even said the actress was the embodiment of the unpredictable and beloved antihero.
While that’s a good sign that the director, writer, and producer would be willing to bring Margot Robbie back for another round as Harley Quinn, statements from the actress suggest she may not be interested in returning to the role. Robbie expressed her desire for Harley Quinn to be a character that transcends her portrayal, much like many iconic male characters have been passed on to different actors over the years.
“I always wanted Harley to be a character that would get passed on to other actresses to play, the way there are so many iconic male characters,” Margot Robbie shared, emphasizing the versatility of Harley Quinn. “Harley’s so fun and can go in so many different directions. You put her in someone else’s hands, and it’s like, ‘What are they going to do with her?’ The options are endless.”
She’s not wrong, and, in fact, other actresses have already had a turn at the character, even after Margot Robbie took a swing with Harley Quinn’s bat. Kaley Cuoco, from The Big Bang Theory, voices the animated version of the character in Harley Quinn on Max, and Lady Gaga will be the next to step into the harlequin suit in the upcoming sequel to 2019’s Joker.
The original Joker earned Joaquin Phoenix an Oscar for Best Actor. Joker: Folie à Deux is helmed once again by Todd Phillips, the director behind hits like The Hangover and War Dogs. The sequel is slated for release in October 2024, but unlike the films Margot Robbie starred in, the Joker movies are not part of the DCEU or DCU. In fact the new one is supposed to be a musical.
So, this still leaves the question of what will happen to the DCU’s version of Harleen Quinzel. Will Gunn and Safran cast someone new in the role, or has the baton already been passed? Undoubtedly, Lady Gaga is sure to bring a unique flair to Harley Quinn that is different from anything Margot Robbie portrayed, potentially changing the way the public views the character once again.
And that’s exactly what Margot Robbie wants. The prospect of multiple actresses embodying Harley Quinn opens the door to diverse interpretations, ensuring that the character remains dynamic and relevant in the evolving universes created by Warner Bros. Discovery.