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SYFY WIRE Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad: Ayer admits Harley Quinn mistakes; Gunn going more standalone for sequel

By Josh Weiss
Harley Quinn Suicide Squad Margot Robbie

Almost four years after Suicide Squad arrived to an overwhelmingly negative fan reception (but surprisingly good box-office numbers), writer/director David Ayer is still making peace with the messy comic book flick. His latest confession has to do with the over-sexualization of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.

"Sadly her story arc was eviscerated," Ayer wrote in response to a tweet that contrasted Harley's depictions in Suicide Squad and Cathy Yan's Birds of Prey. "It was her movie in so many ways. Look, I tried. I rendered Harley comic book accurate. Everything is political now. Everything. I just want to entertain. I will do better."

When asked if he'd ever do a "live commentary" on the film, Ayer replied with "I’d never work again" and a winking emoticon. If that's the case, then the studio's interference is probably worse than previously imagined. Despite the backlash and criticism upon its release in late summer of 2016, Suicide Squad was still a financial success and even went on to nab an Oscar.

Instead of green-lighting a direct sequel, Warner Bros. ordered a kind of soft reboot under the captaincy of Guardians of the Galaxy vet James Gunn. Now in post-production, the film, titled The Suicide Squad, doesn't require you to rewatch its predecessor, according to Gunn himself. And since the team is so off the books, their first mission can remain classified, never to be mentioned again.

That said, the follow-up will feature a bunch of familiar faces from the first movie, like Quinn, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman), and Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney).

The newcomers are no less impressive: Idris Elba, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Daniela Melchior, Steve Agee, Nathan Fillion, Jennifer Holland, Flula Borg, Sean Gunn, Pete Davidson, John Cena, Storm Reid, Joaquín Cosío,  Tinashe Kajes, Michael Rooker, Alice Braga, Mayling Ng, Julio Ruiz, Peter Capaldi, and Taika Waititi.

james gunn again

During the Instagram Q&A where he addressed a lack of continuity between the two projects, Gunn also expressed his love of getting to write for Harley.

“Oh, I love the Joker, but Harley is one of my favorite characters I’ve ever written,” he said (via "In fact, she’s probably my favorite comic character whose personality was well-defined before I wrote her for the screen. She’s an incredible companion to have while writing her insane actions and dialogue. Did I say I LOVED her?"

The Suicide Squad is still on course to make its theatrical debut on August 6, 2021. Nothing is known about the plot at this time.