We suppose it’s fitting that the cast of Warner Bros. and DC’s Suicide Squad have little to hide, with each passing week bringing set photos – and glimpses into the story along with them. Prior sequences focused on the assembled Squad heading into battle (in full costume), but the latest batch hinge squarely on the most twisted love affair in Batman comics: that of The Joker and Harley Quinn.
The first look at Jared Leto’s villain showed a more crazed criminal than comic fans are used to seeing in live-action, and the appearance of Margot Robbie’s Harley seemed designed to match. Now, the scene featured in set photos looks to offer a glimpse at their origin story, pulling major influences from the comic book mythology. SPOILERS ahead.
While the pair’s relationship has changed over the years, and recent rumors suggest their relationship in Suicide Squad will be even more strained than usual, one thing remains constant: they are a criminal duo that puts Bonnie and Clyde to shame. If the latest set photos show what they appear to, then the pair’s twisted and co-dependent bond is still very much intact.
The new batch of set photos have been collected by JustJared, revealing a scene in which a pre-transformation (read: un-costumed) Harley sees The Joker speed up in a supercar, and the pair engage in an argument… and a kiss. When a passerby steps in Harley shoots him dead before pressing the gun to Joker’s forehead, but the Clown Prince of Crime grabs it and slaps her:
Beyond confirming that Leto’s Joker look and his many tattoos are, in fact, accurate, the appearance of Harley Quinn without her red-and-blue costume and pale skin is telling. In the comics, Harley Quinn began her life as Dr. Harleen Quinzel, a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum who found a kindred spirit in The Joker’s many psychoses. In DC’s New 52 continuity, The Joker used his sessions with the doctor to slowly fan the flames of Harley’s frustration and anger until she, too, became a murderer, then forced her through the same chemical transformation that granted him his skin tone and fractured mind.
It’s impossible to say if that same origin story will be adopted for Suicide Squad, or if there is anything more than good old-fashioned homicidal tendencies to blame for The Joker’s criminal career. But the set photos revealing Harley as a civilian, kissing The Joker, then killing an innocent bystander – but unable to kill her green-haired lover – paints a similar picture (even if it is in broad strokes).
Focusing on Leto’s well-dressed (and clearly well-funded) Joker look supports the idea that director David Ayer’s version of the iconic Batman villain will be a street criminal, as opposed to a fantastic comic book mastermind. The neon green hair and red lipstick means Leto will more than look the part, but his wealth and what looks to be celebratory dancing confirms suspicions that he will be a more deranged, malevolent villain than Batman movies have attempted.
That may prove divisive among those who prefer their Joker campy or laughable, but in a film where the ‘heroes’ sport assault rifles, Leto will need to be even more dangerous to come off as anything special. If The Joker’s character will be fleshed out as it relates to his early relationship with Harley Quinn, then it’s even more likely to see the duo appear in other (Batman?) films down the line.
Are you happy to see more evidence of the role Jared Leto will play in Suicide Squad, or does this scene simply raise more questions? Be sure to share your own theories about this scene, and Harley’s origin in the comments.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.