DC's Most Iconic Villain Is Undergoing a Controversial Change for the Better
Margot Robbie might be done as the clown princess of crime, but that’s not a bad thing.
As James Gunn’s new DC Universe takes shape, one name in particular has been absent. Harley Quinn, portrayed in the DCEU by Margot Robbie, doesn’t seem to have a place in the upcoming reboot — at least not in its inaugural phase, “Gods and Monsters.” Robbie herself, who’s had her hands full with Barbie, hasn’t said much about her place in the new DCU, but inquiring minds want to know when her Harley could next appear. Unfortunately, recent comments suggest that Robbie’s days as the clown princess of crime are over.
“I always wanted Harley to be a character that would get passed on to other actresses to play, the way there are so many iconic male characters,” Robbie recently told Variety. “That was always the dream for her.”
Robbie’s dream isn’t too far off from the reality that so many DC characters enjoy. The Batman mantle has always passed from one actor to the next; ditto Joker, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Robbie is already sharing Harley with other actresses: Kaley Cuoco voices the character in the animated Harley Quinn series, Tara Strong plays her in video games, and Lady Gaga is set to bring another live-action Harley to the big screen in Joker: Folie á Deux.
Robbie seems to be enjoying all the different takes on the character. “Harley’s so fun and can go in so many different directions,” she said. “You put her in someone else’s hands, and it’s like, ‘What are they going to do with her?’ The options are endless.”
When asked about Gaga’s upcoming portrayal of Harley, Robbie offered her unconditional support. “It’s such an honor to have built a foundation strong enough that Harley can now be one of those characters that other actors get to have a go at playing,” she told MTV in 2022. “I think she’ll do something incredible with it.”
That said, many fans considered Robbie to be the “definitive” version of the character, and have hoped she’d continue to appear in Gunn’s new DC Universe. Harley’s adventures in the DCEU had barely begun, and since other versions of Harley can coexist via the multiverse, there’s nothing stopping Robbie from reprising her role, even if it’s just in a cameo.
Robbie hasn’t made any definitive announcements, but she seems fine taking a step back, at least for now. The actress had no concrete insights on Harley after The Suicide Squad, telling Entertainment Weekly she needed “a break” from the character. “I don’t know when we’re next going to see her,” she said.
Instead, Robbie seems to be leaning into her growing responsibilities as a producer. Her production company, Lucky Chap, currently has 20 projects in active development, according to Variety. Robbie will star in one or two, like the Ocean’s Eleven prequel in the pipeline.
As for sequels and other spin-offs, the actor doesn’t seem too interested. Rather than a Birds of Prey 2 or a follow-up to Barbie, Robbie’s on the hunt for “another big, original, bold idea where we get an amazing filmmaker, a big budget to play with, and the trust of a huge conglomerate behind them to go and really play.” The door isn’t officially closed on Harley Quinn, but Robbie has given her all to the character in just five years, so a break is certainly warranted.