If Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn makes it out of The Suicide Squad alive, which seems likely but hardly inevitable after James Gunn said he was given carte blanche by the studio to kill off whoever he wanted and thus makes it sound as though he’s planning on offing at least one major name, then the smart money is on the Joker’s former squeeze sticking around the DCEU for a while yet.
After all, Suicide Squad saw Harley become one of the franchise’s most popular characters, and the actress was one of the few aspects of David Ayer’s maligned blockbuster to receive passing marks from both fans and critics. However, when she took center stage in female-driven spinoff Birds of Prey, the results were less than stellar.
From a critical perspective, Cathy Yan’s ensemble actioner fared just fine, but it sank without a trace at the box office after barely making it past $200 million globally to become the worst performing entry in the DCEU by some distance. Warner Bros. quickly changing the title of the movie when the opening weekend numbers came in smacked of desperation as well, but Birds of Prey was already too far gone.
Supporters of the R-rated adventure have still drawn any sort of positives they can from it, though celebrating it as the highest-grossing comic book adaptation of 2020 in a year ravaged by the Coronavirus pandemic is damning it with faint praise, especially with Wonder Woman 1984 lurking just around the corner.
In any case, during a recent interview, Robbie was asked about a potential sequel, and she hardly sounded confident about it happening, saying:
“I don’t know. Nothing imminent at this stage, nothing worth mentioning.”
It might be stating the obvious, but box office bombs don’t tend to get follow-ups. And though Birds of Prey may have failed to launch a franchise of its own, Margot Robbie seems poised to remain a big part of the DCEU nonetheless.