Suicide Squad is definitely one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2016: featuring a stellar cast, Suicide Squad will add a bit of story diversity to the DC movie canon. Empire's recent issue has offered some new info on the movie, with plenty of new pictures and interviews to keep us busy. Jared Leto has broken his silence about playing "Mr J", David Ayer has promised Suicide Squad will be a superhero movie game-changer, and Harley Quinn is being positioned as the most important character in the movie...
Harley's Crucial Role
Although she was apparently a late addition to the Suicide Squad story, Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn seemed ready to take one of the leading roles in the film when the trailer was released at Comic Con. Out of all the characters, Harley has the most screentime, and the soundtrack to the trailer seems to mirror her mindset.
We can glean a lot from the trailer: we know we're going to get flashbacks that reveal Harley's villain origin, as the shrewd Dr Harleen Quinzel is tortured by the Joker. Set images have also revealed a lot about this backstory, most notably that at some point Joker will escape and kidnap Harleen.
This will end up in a confrontation in which Harleen draws a gun on Joker, showing defiance to his control, but he knocks it out of her hands...
We'll also see the two taking a joyride later, after Harleen becomes Harley Quinn, pursued by Batman. At this point she seems to have embraced her villain persona, and is fully immersed in her manic infatuation of the Joker. Their relationship is one of the defining elements of Harley's story: although Joker is emotionally and physically abusive, Harley's love of him forms much of her motivation, and definitely seems to share symptoms with Stockholm Syndrome.
Why Harley ends up in jail and Joker doesn't has yet to be revealed, but he certainly seems to have let her take the fall for a crime they committed together. Perhaps this is what prompts her to try and get over her infatuation with him? David Ayer confirmed that Harley's journey away from the Joker will be part of the film, hinting on his Twitter that her love of Joker, her insanity, and her villainous nature, were all intertwined...
Clearly, the film will focus a lot on Harley's journey to become the villain, but what about her development after that happens?
In the Empire issue, David Ayer revealed that Harley Quinn is the lynch pin of the Suicide Squad story, hinting that her development is not only vital to the plot, but it mirrors the other characters' stories and the themes of the film.
"It’s about her breaking free of The Joker and becoming this fully actualised, independent person. That really is a metaphor for everyone’s journey here."
In this way, Harley's role will have repercussions for the entire Squad, as they are all striving to find a new life after their incarceration. Although it features a cast of villains, Suicide Squad seems to be a story of redemption, and no-one deserves this more than Harley.
Of course, it's difficult to guess which direction her story will go. Will she become a villain in her own right? Or will the movie follow the current comic canon, which has seen her move towards a more morally ambiguous, vigilante role?
The possibilities really are endless with Harley, but from Ayer's comments we can definitely assume that she plays a major role in the Suicide Squad story, and might just be the most important character of the movie!