Harley Quinn has been a DC Comics mainstay ever since what was intended to be a single appearance in Batman: The Animated Series, growing well beyond her humble origins to become a fan-favourite (and cosplay juggernaut). She reached her zenith of popularity this summer as the MVP of DC Extended Universe villain team-up Suicide Squad. Even before the film hit theaters, there was talk of Margot Robbie looking to produce a movie that put the focus even more on Dr. Quizell – a film many still wanted to see, despite Suicide Squad‘s less-than-favorable reception.
It’s now been revealed that Suicide Squad director David Ayer is working with Robbie on a fast-tracked Gotham City Sirens, based on the 2009-2011 comic run about Harley joining up with Catwoman and Poison Ivy. Of course, with those being such big names (and both active on television in Gotham), there’s some uncertainty over whether the latter duo will be joining the former Arkham psychiatrist in Ayer’s film, or if Harley would need to call on some other femme fatales. However, further word from the director appears to have settled that.
Just hours after reports about Gotham City Sirens hit the ‘Net, Ayer posted a drawing on Twitter of Poison Ivy, Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Harley Quinn with the comment #Sirens4ever (see below). This strongly points towards the trio being the core of the DCEU film.
The early rumors of the Harley Quinn spinoff suggested that Robbie was vying to produce a Birds of Prey movie about the larger, long-standing (and slightly more heroic) group of female crime-fighters. Gotham City Sirens appears to be a different project altogether, featuring A-list villains and a different screenwriter (Geneva Robertson-Dworet) than the one reported for the Birds of Prey film (Christina Hodson).
That makes a lot of sense. The Gotham City Sirens leads are – besides Talia al Ghul – the biggest female villains of not just Batman comics, but all of DC; so perfect to headline a movie together, especially in the wake of Suicide Squad. While there was something intriguing about a film led by Rick Flagg, Captain Boomerang and other lesser known DC villains, they ultimately failed to endear themselves to audiences like Marvel’s similarly pitched (and even more obscure) Guardians of the Galaxy. Putting the focus on characters general audiences know gets a lot of preliminary legwork done, an approach that perhaps suggests the still-in-development Suicide Squad 2 may try and rope in some bigger names.
With the characters now strongly hinted at, the question moves to casting, rumours about which could start swirling soon. Poison Ivy was played by Uma Thurman in Batman & Robin, while Catwoman’s appeared under the guises of such actresses as Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns and Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises (and yes, Halle Berry too). Given the past successes and failures of these characters on the big screen (nobody wants to be reminded of Batman & Robin), this could give Ayer an idea of what to replicate and what to avoid.