In the upcoming spin-off of 2016’s hot mess Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn has emancipated herself from her longtime lover, the Joker. The almost-too-long title of the film, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), even informs this fact. Despite this evident reference to the infamous crazy clown character, as well as the various mentions of him in the trailer for the highly anticipated DC Comics project, Joker, who was played by Jared Leto in Suicide Squad, does not make any such appearance in the actual Bird of Prey film itself. According to Variety, Margot Robbie, who will be reprising her role as Harley, confirmed that “Leto’s incarnation of the character doesn’t appear, not even as a cameo.” She told Screen Rant, “In this film though we’re exploring her not being with Joker.”
This news is not entirely shocking, due to how unhealthy and toxic Harley and “Mista J”‘s relationship has always been, a sentiment that Margot seconds. She has never understood “why the wildly brilliant, unstable character” of Harley Quinn “would stay in a relationship with the Joker…who ‘wants to kill her most of the time.'” “What’s always surprised me,” she told Screen Rant, “and I said this when publicizing Suicide Squad, the first film, is that her relationship with Joker always did confuse me the most. That was the thing that took me the longest to get my head around.”
Though Jared’s Joker will not be disrupting Harley’s post-breakup high, Margot did have some kind words for Joker—the Joaquin Phoenix-starring Todd Phillips film, that is. Though she thought Joaquin “did a phenomenal job” in his role, she pointed out that Birds of Prey differs greatly from Joker in terms of tone. “I feel like the ‘Joker’ film was much more grounded. Ours is different. It’s heightened.” Margot not only stars in Birds of Prey but produced it as well, and it is set to hit theatres on February 7th, 2020.