It Was Not Harley’s Fault… A Rant

So The Suicide Squad disappointed at the box office (which kind of surprises me) and now everybody has to give a reason why and one of the worst reasons I saw in several places is Harley Quinn.

I’ve heard that she’s overexposed and that Birds of Prey devalued her. And now the controversial opinions I was working is going to turn into a rant about that and D.C. overall my apologies ahead of time for any swearing. It’s been a trying week and now this shit.

Is Harley overexposed? Has she been devalued?

I’m obviously a huge fan of the character so no. She’s probably less over-exposed than any of the Avengers or Loki ever were. The main portrayals of her in the 3 movies and even in the excellent Harley Quinn (which no one really watches- don’t you have to be a hit to be overexposed???) series have been relatively consistent in my opinion despite the obvious differences in the animated series. (Hello Ivy.)

Why are people even saying she’s overexposed? And my question are they going to say the same thing about Spiderman if the No Way Home rumors turn out to be true? Are people going to talk about Batman as a character being devalued when we get 3 different versions on screen next year?

Probably not.

Harley Quinn

As far as her being devalued by Birds of Prey… well I wasn’t fond of that movie only because the Birds of Prey and Cassandra Cain were the ones who got the short end of that stick. Was that a bad idea that apparently Robbie herself went with over Gotham City Sirens? Yes.

Is she perhaps more of a niche character than Warner Brothers would have hoped? Maybe.

But the sad thing about this commentary is James Gunn and Margot Robbie actually gave the best version of the character so far (again outside of the animated show and some excellent graphic novels that people mostly ignore anyway) and he actually kept her from stealing the show or making it all about her!

I mean art is subjective and it’s all down to personal opinion. I admit a week ago I’d have been like oh the summer box office isn’t doing great because of Corona and sorry Hollywood it’s all been mediocre and forgettable. But then The Suicide Squad turns out to be a nice surprise and it does even worse than people expect. Although I still want to see about word of mouth on this one.

But I just don’t see how it was Harley Quinn’s fault. Frankly in my personal experience the people who didn’t want to see The Suicide Squad or insisted on watching it on HBOMax almost all cited how much the first one was a disappointment but yet there’s an equal number of people I’ve seen on social media yelling for the Ayers cut. As though somehow it would have a better villain.

Ivy and Harley in the Harley Quinn Show

The strange thing about Warner Brothers DC experiments in some instances when they have something that is successfully they then give the people they think are responsible for it near total power forgetting that successes are often shared. (Patty Jenkins did great directing Wonder Woman but it was probably a terrible idea for her to fire the main writer and the stunt team for the second movie.)

Margot is a great Harley Quinn but she needs a stronger screenwriter than Christina Hobson (Robbie is working with Greta Gerwig on the upcoming Barbie movie and she could do a great Gotham City Sirens script. Emerald Fennell who just won the Oscar for writing Promising Young Woman is doing the Katana script and she would have been great as well!)

Not to mention the writers of the excellent Harley Quinn show!

I’ve seen people suggest doing a wild live-action episode of that show and I’d love to see that. Kaley Cuoco has really made that role her own and while Lake Bell never would have been my choice for Ivy now I can’t not see it.

And that’s the other thing about the future of Harley Quinn… if we aren’t going backwards (please no) to the Joker and we’re going to Ivy I don’t want any weak ass casting for Ivy. (Sorry with the exception of the excellent Jurnee Smollett I thought the rest of the Birds of Prey were not very well cast at all.)

I’m going to roll this rant up but among the many reasons The Suicide Squad didn’t do as well as expected well it’s horse shit that Harley would even make the top ten.