Birds of Prey Shows How Harley Quinn Moves on From Joker After Suicide Squad

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is inching ever closer and many are wondering how the beloved character will find herself in this new movie. Cathy Yan is directing the film and she told ScreenRant that Birds of Prey will show off more of Harley Quinn’s personal journey away from Joker. Suicide Squad is a bit of a prickly topic because this upcoming movie doesn’t really come after the 2016 film. Instead, this is sort of a parallel story with Margot Robbie returning in the role that fans absolutely can’t get enough of her in. There’s a lot of gripes that people had with Suicide Squad, but Joker’s relationship with Harley and how it could easily deteriorate is something that this movie will explore more. Yan talked about the way this movie centers her and taking agency over her life and choices.

“It's really Harley’s story, as well as all of these women’s stories,” Yan responded. “And in a way their stories kind of echo each other. So when our title includes ‘The Emancipation of One Harley Quinn’ that is essentially the story that she goes on. We find her basically without the Joker at the beginning of the film, and through the film she learns that she doesn't need anyone but herself. She doesn't necessarily make friends with the other women, but they come together, and through that they all sort of emancipate themselves throughout the film. And of course, a really important relationship is her relationship with little Cass, as well.”

For her part, Margot Robbie thought Suicide Squad had some explaining to do when it came to Harley Quinn and Joker’s relationship as well. The star talked about it at length in some comments during a press set visit this year.

"The first film, is that her relationship with Joker always did confuse me the most," Robbie said. "That was the thing that took me the longest to get my head around. In this film though we’re exploring her not being with Joker. And I actually understand the break-up. That’s something I feel like everyone can kind of understand and relate to in some ways. Though she deals with--like she blows things up, I don’t do that. I understand the motivation that spurred on that train of thought."

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"I think something I explored a lot in Suicide Squad, the first film, was Harley's co-dependence with the Joker," Robbie continued. "And obviously, he has a huge influence on her. But, obviously, she was very much in a relationship with him when we first saw Harley onscreen in Suicide Squad. And I did want to explore what is the version of Harley out of a relationship, and whether she's out of a relationship on her own accord or he's kind of kicked her to the curb. But it still affects her, but in a very different way. And I thought we'd see a very different facet of her personalities. Personalities, I would say. Because I think she has multiple."

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) flies into theaters on February 13, 2020.