Suicide Squad is set to smash superhero stereotypes: the plot focuses on villains and antiheroes, and all the trailers so far have played with the norms of the genre. The second trailer only increased the hype for this movie, proving that Suicide Squad has a delightfully dark sense of humor, while the new TV spots shone a spotlight on one character in particular...
Joker's Starring Role
Ever since the film was announced, fans have been wondering how large a role the Joker would play in the story.
He's not part of Task Force X, so is Joker the main villain of the movie? Or is he just there to provide a connection to Harley Quinn's origin story? Well, if the new trailers prove nothing else, it's that the Joker will have a prominent role in the plot, and won't be confined to flashback scenes. This TV spot in particular positions the Joker as one of the story's major players...
The teaser begins with the Joker threatening someone, and ends on his maniacal laugh, which frames him as a person of influence in the plot.
"I can't wait to show you my toys..."
So is he the real threat that Task Force X are assembled to take out? This seems increasingly likely, especially considering producer Charles Roven's comment that this version of the Joker is a "smart businessman".
We usually view the Joker as a lone figure, and it's true that in the DC comics he doesn't tend to play well with others. So this is odd, and kind of terrifying when we start to wonder what kind of business the Joker could possibly go into. It could be that this is exactly what Task Force X are sent to stop: after all, we did see a gang of Joker's goons in the first trailer...
We see Joker's gang twice, first in a flashback as they raid Arkham Asylum, presumably to aid Joker's escape, and again in this snippet, as they shoot a path for the Joker to enter a mysterious facility.
It's difficult to deduce what all this means, especially as the second trailer dropped hints that Enchantress was the real villain of the movie. But as much as we can debate over Joker being the villain or not, there's one thing we know for sure...
Harley Quinn Is The Film's Hero
As one of DC's more popular characters, it's no surprise that Harley Quinn is subtly being positioned as the most important character in the movie. In both of the Suicide Squad trailers, Harley Quinn gets the most screentime, and director David Ayer has teased how pivotal her role is in the plot.
"[Suicide Squad] is about Harley breaking free of The Joker and becoming this fully actualized, 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. How Dr Harleen Quinzel became a villain seems to be down to the Joker's torture of her, though her insanity is difficult to define...
Here's hoping Suicide Squad takes the former interpretation, as after Joker kidnapped Harleen and dumped her in a vat of acid, he proceeded to treat her pretty badly during their romantic relationship.
In Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn's story could go one of two ways. Either she'll step out from Joker's shadow to be her own kind of villain, or Ayer will follow the current New 52 plotline which sees Harley become something of an anti-hero. (Harley recently teamed up with Power Girl and Wonder Woman in her solo comic series.)
We'll probably have to wait until much later in the DCEU franchise to find out, but Margot Robbie's recent comments definitely hint that Harley's story leans more towards villainy...
"Harley is creepy, violent, crazy — all of the things that I aspire to be!"
And to be honest, this sounds pretty great, as long as we get that trademark Harley Quinn sense of humour too - the Clown Princess must always be funny.
Harley Quinn is a fantastic character in many ways, and her villainy is just one reason people love her so much. So as long as Harley Quinn is the unpredictable, brutal, explosive character we know and love in Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie's portrayal will be the perfect representation of her. Here's hoping Harley's role in the film really is as important as they're making it out to be, as many fans are pinning their hopes on such a favoured villain finally gracing the silver screen.