Posted by Jenika Enoch @DrFink
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Jenika Enoch

On Wednesday, the Hollywood Reporter dropped a bombshell on us by announcing that Warner Bros. has officially partnered up with Suicide Squad actress Margot Robbie. Not only will Robbie continue to play #HarleyQuinn, including in a solo movie, but she has signed an exclusive first-look deal with the company that allows her to act and produce.

Robbie has already expanded her dedication behind the scenes and formed a production company called LuckyChap Entertainment, alongside Tom Ackerley, Josey McNamara and Sophia Kerr. The company has already secured the Tonya Harding biopic I, Tonya (in which Robbie will also star) as well as her upcoming films Terminal, Queen of the Air, and Bad Monkeys. She has built quite a rapport with Warner Bros. not just with #SuicideSquad, but also with her involvement in Focus and The Legend of Tarzan, so this deal was likely in the works for quite sometime.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this first-look deal with Warner Bros. is confirmation that Robbie will continue on within the #DCExtendedUniverse. Along with the studio partnering up on Queen of the Air, the deal includes the long-rumored Harley Quinn spin-off in which Robbie will star and executive produce.

When Will The Harley Quinn Movie Be Released?

Although the Harley Quinn spin-off is now confirmed, there still is no set confirmation on when it will hit theaters or enter production. At this point, your guess is as good as ours regarding when we will see #MargotRobbie reprise the role of Harley Quinn. However, there is still a strong possibility that Harley's movie will take the vacant DC Extended Universe slot for November 1, 2019.

There is still another vacant DCEU slot for October 5, 2018, but that is heavily rumored to be Ben Affleck's solo #Batman movie, The Batman. Even though there is an open slot for 2019, that doesn't guarantee that it will default to Harley Quinn's spin-off. With the massive box office success of Suicide Squad, a lot of people think a sequel will hit sooner rather than later. $700 million doesn't really lie, so it would be smart for the studio to act quickly before the hype dies down. Unfortunately, that could mean pushing the Harley Quinn movie further into the future than we might want.

One thing we must remember is that just because the current DCEU schedule doesn't extend past 2020, it doesn't mean that new release dates won't be added. It's possible that this spin-off could become a third release for 2020 (alongside Green Lantern Corps. and Cyborg), or that it could kick-start a new group of releases for 2021.

Either way, I think a sequel to Suicide Squad is coming, so it's just the matter of how soon Warner Bros. wants it to happen.

What Could Harley Quinn's Movie Be About?

This is where things get really fun because there are a lot of possibilities regarding potential plots or characters. Seeing as how Margot Robbie is both starring and executive producing (and lobbied for the project from day one), it's pretty safe to say that this is essentially her movie. She is in control and she was quite vocal during the Suicide Squad press tour about how she wanted to shape Harley Quinn into a strong, independent character. With that said, the movie likely won't be just her running around, wreaking havoc the whole time.

Although nothing has been confirmed yet, it is rumored that this movie will also feature several other female DC Comics characters. Possible characters might include, but are not limited to, Poison Ivy, Black Canary, Batgirl, Huntress, Catwoman and Katana. In other words, this spin-off could very well turn into a Birds of Prey movie.

If you're unfamiliar with #BirdsOfPrey, it's essentially a superheroine team led by Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Oracle / Batgirl) and Dinah Lance (a.k.a. Black Canary). The group's members have fluctuated throughout the comic issues, but the main characters seem to be consistently Oracle, Black Canary, Lady Blackhawk and Huntress. We've already been introduced to Katana in Suicide Squad and we might see Batgirl in The Batman and/or Justice League, so Harley Quinn's spin-off might serve as a way to tie the developing "girl power" of the DCEU together.

Another possibility for Harley Quinn regarding the Birds of Prey is that it would allow a shift towards the newer iteration of the character. The most recent version of Harley Quinn has her removed from the Joker and much more independent. Not to mention she is romantically involved with Poison Ivy. The only potential issue with jumping right into Harley and Poison Ivy is it would leave a lot of missed opportunity between her and the Joker. Seeing how we barely got to see any scenes between the two in Suicide Squad, it would feel like a bit of a cheat to immediately abandon the relationship between them so quickly. That is, unless we get a Suicide Squad sequel before the Harley Quinn movie.

If we do happen to revisit Task Force X before Margot Robbie's movie, I have no doubt that #TheJoker would be more involved the second time around. There really is no way to get around that fact with the way that Suicide Squad ended.

We know he didn't die in the helicopter crash, Amanda Waller didn't toss him into Belle Reve or Arkham Asylum, and he seems to be free from the radar of Batman and the Justice League ... for now. Harley Quinn is now back in Gotham City and reunited with the Joker, so I don't think Amanda Waller will get her back without a fight.

A Suicide Squad sequel could potentially be centralized around the "king and queen of Gotham" fighting Waller and Task Force X as she attempts to take back what she feels belongs to her. The events in Suicide Squad not only proved Task Force X to be successful, but it also showed the government that Harley Quinn is an asset to them — even with her mental instability. I don't think they will go quietly and allow her to slip away from them. An attempt to reclaim her could serve as a gateway for the potentially permanent separation of the Joker and Harley Quinn and push her into a future with the Birds of Prey.

Final Thoughts?

Basically, this announcement shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Suicide Squad has now grossed over $700M worldwide and the momentum is still going. Not only did the movie make a lot of money, but one of the most complimented aspects of it was Margot Robbie's portrayal of Harley Quinn. People want more of this character, and it would be stupid of Warner Bros. to not take advantage of that.

As for everything else, all we can do at the current moment is speculate over the possibilities. I highly doubt we will get any sort of character or story confirmations for a long, long time, and things will likely change as each DCEU release comes out.

Even if this spin-off does manage to snag the November 1, 2019 slot, that's still three years away. All we can do at this point is wait and see what develops, but this is definitely something to be excited about.

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