It's hard to tell where the DC Extended Universe stands these days. The divisive film franchise of DC Comics-based movies (and one TV show) might be looking at a total rebrand under Warner Bros' partnership with Discovery. It's a big decision to reset an entire cinematic universe, but with notable stars like Ezra Miller and Amber Heard tarnishing the brand with each passing day, it might not be a hard decision. But where would that leave stars like Margot Robbie, especially with recent news?
2019's Joker is getting a sequel. Titled Joker: Folie à deux, the upcoming film marks the tentative return of Joaquin Phoenix as the iconic Batman villain. What's more, he'll be joined by his usual partner-in-crime, Harley Quinn. As of writing, Lady Gaga is currently in talks to play Harley in the film.
But Margot Robbie has portrayed the character for years by now. Would she still play Harley in the future? Here's what we know.
Is Margot Robbie still Harley Quinn?
First appearing in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin) is introduced as the Joker's (Mark Hamill) loyal henchman and eventual one-sided romantic partner. Since her debut, she has become an iconic DC anti-hero. In current continuity, she has escaped her toxic relationship with the Joker and explored her bisexuality with fellow Gotham femme fatale Poison Ivy.
Her popularity has since propelled her to the big screen.
Harley Quinn was first brought to life in 2016's Suicide Squad, portrayed by Margot Robbie. Though the film itself garnered poor reception at the time, Margot's portrayal of the classic villain was regarded as one of Suicide Squad's few high points. The character received her own spin-off film with Birds of Prey, where Margot reprises the role as Harley becomes more of an anti-hero. She would later play Harley once more in The Suicide Squad, a soft reboot of the first film.
Margot Robbie has become rather synonymous with that of Harley Quinn. Even in the worst DCEU films, her performance usually received praise. But with the shifting winds at the DCEU and other Batman-related film projects now taking priority over the original franchise, is there still room from Margot Robbie to play Harley once again? After all, she's certainly open to it.
As of February 2021, she and The Suicide Squad director James Gunn were discussing a future Harley Quinn project.
Reportedly, James has stated that Margot is "the best actor [he's] ever worked with" and is eager to work with her again on a Harley-focused story.
Margot herself has even expressed interest in returning to play Harley in other projects. In an interview with ET, Margot half-jokingly stated that she would love to work alongside Leslie Grace in the upcoming Batgirl film.
But there are too many moving pieces for the DCEU to confirm whether or not Margot Robbie could return as Harley any time soon. If nothing else, Lady Gaga's Harley would exist in an alternate universe from Margot's. This would be similar to how The Batman doesn't take place in the DCEU.
But if all of this mismatched DCEU branding sounds confusing, it's because it is. With the future of the DCEU so uncertain, it's difficult to determine whether even popular characters like Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn will ever return to grace the big screen.