There are a lot of questions regarding the future of the Joker and Harley Quinn in the DCEU. Since the announcement of a planned Joker and Harley spinoff, many fans have been theorizing about exactly what storyline writers John Requa and Glenn Ficarra will go with (or create). There's also the question of where this movie will fit in the DCEU timeline — will it be a prequel to Suicide Squad? Or take place after it?
In the midst of the studio's silence, the actors involved are starting to come out in small doses with their own ideas and theories for where the story might take us.
"Their love story has to end in flames. Has to! It just wouldn't be right."
Does This Mean 'Joker & Harley' Could Portray Their Abusive Relationship?
Robbie's comments aren't necessarily new. She's dropped hints from day one that she'd love to see Harley kick the Joker to the curb at some point and become her own woman in the DCEU.
As underwhelming as their introduction might have been in #SuicideSquad, the direction Robbie is talking about seems quite realistic — especially with #GothamCitySirens (possibly, eventually) coming into play.
Robbie hinting that she'd like to see the Joker and Harley's relationship "end in flames" is definitely good news. Not only do her comments hint that the desire is to end their partnership in the DCEU, but it unquestionably hints that their "love affair" will be properly represented in terms of domestic abuse. If you're familiar at all with the comic book history of this couple, you're well aware at the history of violence between the two. As time went on, Harley did finally break free from the Joker's abuse (and got some revenge), but you can't deny that the history is there.
When Suicide Squad was filming, footage leaked of Robbie and #JaredLeto filming some rather violent scenes. These scenes included a lot of yelling and physical contact, such as a big slap across the face direct from the Joker to his psychiatrist, Dr. Quinzel.
There was also an official image of what appeared to be the Joker sternly reprimanding Harley in the helicopter just after kidnapping her from Amanda Waller. It seemed that director David Ayer was going with the abusive representation of the couple. However, the scenes were cut from the film entirely. In the end, their relationship was made out to be more of a love story than an ongoing case of domestic violence.
I felt that Warner Bros. ultimately chose to cut the violence in an attempt to make Suicide Squad more lighthearted. Given the amount of popularity Robbie's version got, it's hard to let little girls have fun with a character you see getting beaten up by her boyfriend. But on the contrary, it's hard for an audience to really root for Harley to leave the Joker when we don't really know what is going on.
What Would Showing The Joker's Abuse Do?
Given the disappointment from fans over the missing scenes (and the lovesick portrayal of the Joker in general), it is possible that the studio might allow a more risqué portrayal of the couple moving forward. By omitting the violence from the start, all it did was cheat both the Joker and Harley out of character development.
Unfortunately, that is something that will specifically hurt Harley's characterization as the DCEU goes forward. What would be the point of her leaving the Joker? Why would she give up her life as the "Queen of Gotham City" to join the Sirens? It's questions like these that will come up because of how the studio began this tumultuous relationship on the wrong foot.
Based purely on what we have so far in the DCEU, the Joker really isn't that bad of a guy towards her. After all, he did everything he could to locate and rescue her from Amanda Waller, and he "returned from the dead" to break her out of Belle Reve and take her home to Gotham City. It makes the Joker seem like a total softie for his girl while it makes Harley look less like the victim of abuse that we know she's been for 20 years.
By allowing the abuse to be shown in the spinoff (and even in #SuicideSquad2), Harley would get that strong backbone she needs to finally decide enough is enough. While it's been said that Leto will appear in GCS, director David Ayer claims that the movie will focus on portraying Harley, Catwoman and Poison Ivy as strong, independent women. How can they do that if Harley is unable to justifiably kick the Joker to the curb?
Hopefully Robbie's desires for her character are carried out and we have the opportunity to see the true representation of the Joker and Harley's relationship. Not only will it make the development of the characters more impactful, but it will give audiences more to cheer for when Harley finally leaves the Joker behind.
What are your hopes for the Joker and Harley spinoff? Leave a comment and let us know!
[Source: Batman News]