The movie gods have been kind to us, and a few days ago it was announced that Harley Quinn will get her own solo movie after Suicide Squad. DC seems certain of Harley's success, and with the voracious Margot Robbie playing her, it's difficult to see how they'd go wrong with giving her her own film.
Robbie is not only starring in the movie, but acting as a producer, and she's got big ideas for the production. Although the story will focus on Harley, many of DC's most popular female heroes and villains will also feature — Batgirl, Katana, and the Birds of Prey have been mentioned, although none are 100 percent confirmed.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, showcasing these characters was Robbie's main motivation for starting this project. While researching Suicide Squad, Robbie fell for DC's female characters, brought in a scriptwriter, and pitched the Harley Quinn solo movie to Warner Brothers herself. And the best news? Poison Ivy's appearance in the film has also been alluded to, meaning that one of DC's best-loved relationships could finally be shown on the big screen.
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have a fascinating relationship. Fast friends right from when they first met in Batman: The Animated Series, the terrible twosome frequently tear up Gotham in their criminal antics.
And most recently, after years of innuendo and build up, Harley and Ivy were confirmed to be romantically involved — "yes, they're girlfriends without the jealousy of monogamy". This side of their relationship has been explored in several comics, most notably Harley Quinn's solo series, Poison Ivy: Cycle Of Life And Death, and DC's Bombshells. And last week, the couple finally shared a romantic kiss.
There are a ton of reasons why this relationship is important, and not just because it's a rare chance for queer representation. The benefit to Harley is most obvious, as being with Ivy means finally getting over the Joker and experiencing a real supportive, loving relationship. Known to prefer plants to people, Ivy is usually distant and disdainful; but with Harley, she finds herself caring for, and acting to protect another human being. And that's really nice to see.
This would work so beautifully in the post-Suicide Squad Harley Quinn movie.
Moving On From The Joker
We already know that Suicide Squad will explore the Joker's impact on Harley's life, as director David Ayer explained to Empire a few months ago.
"[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."
Suicide Squad is something of an origin story for Harley Quinn, as we'll get flashbacks to her time as Doctor Harleen Quinzel, before the Joker persuaded her to become Harley Quinn (via manipulation, torture, and a vat of acid).
Poison Ivy has long been a symbol of Harley Quinn's transition from the Joker's sidekick to her own person. Ivy hasn't got a high opinion of the Joker, and she has never been afraid to give Harley some tough love, telling her the Joker is bad for her. This has developed really nicely in the comics, from Ivy supporting Harley in the early days of her friendship, to dealing with Harley's continuing obsession with the Joker.
"She sees him, her brain flooding adrenaline – it makes her excited, nervous. The feeling starts to fade, and she needs more. and more. She sees it as passion, she sees it as love. But it’s not. It’s addiction. And she’s relapsing."
After Suicide Squad would be the perfect time to explore this, as hopefully the Harley solo film will show her moving on from her past.
Speculation and wishful thinking aside, how likely is it that we'll actually see Harley and Ivy in a romantic relationship in this new movie?
Expectations Vs. Reality
Well, this is when things get distressingly political. DC would be taking a big risk to obliquely explore this relationship as anything beyond innuendo, because this could cause the film to be banned in several countries.
However, the R-rated Deadpool, which was naturally banned in many countries, was wildly successful, earning more than X-Men: Days of Future Past, Ant-Man, and of course Batman v Superman. If Deadpool proved nothing else, it's that risqué doesn't always mean risky in box office terms.
Harley Quinn already seems set to become DC's answer to Deadpool, with her irreverence, gleeful love of violence, and tendency to cheekily break the fourth wall. It could be that this solo film will incorporate the humor of Harley Quinn's stories with all the edgier aspects of her character to really tap into the market for alternative comic book films.
Basically, the possibility of seeing Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn develop a romantic relationship onscreen is actually more likely than you might expect. Until we know more, I'm just gonna keep my fingers crossed — and maybe read the latest issue of DC's Bombshells a few more times.