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A New Take On Harley Quinn

While Suicide Squad was largely denounced as an ambitious disaster for DC Comics, most people agree that Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn was the brightest spot in all of that mess by far. Since Suicide Squad ended up being a sizable hit despite critics and fans' ire alike, DC decided to salvage what they could and greenlit a Harley Quinn spinoff, Birds Of Prey.

This film features Quinn after she breaks up with Jared Leto's Joker and sees her start a girl gang of female villains. It looks like a candy coated, gleefully violent good time.

Jared Leto's Joke Will Not Return

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While moving on from the Joker might be part of Harley's motivation in Birds of Prey, don't expect Leto to show up in any capacity, not even a cameo. Robbie confirmed this news in a new interview with Variety, although she did sing the praises of the most recent iteration of Gotham's Crime Prince, Joker, saying that Joaquin Phoenix "did a phenomenal job."

However, don't expect Birds of Prey to follow in Joker's style at all. Robbie explained,

"I feel like the Joker film was much more grounded. Ours is different. It’s heightened."

His Method Behavior

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Considering Leto's notoriously nasty behavior passed off as "method acting" during the Suicide Squad shoot, it's not a surprise that he doesn't feature into Birds of Prey at all. Leto sent his cast mates used condoms, anal beads, and a dead pig in order to establish his cred as the Joker, which did not go over well with Viola Davis, who told Vanity Fair:

"He did some bad things, Jared Leto did. He gave some really horrific gifts. He had a henchman who would come into the rehearsal room, and the henchman came in with a dead pig and plopped it on the table, and then he walked out. And that was our introduction into Jared Leto."

Leto also sent Robbie a live rat. She told Jimmy Fallon:

"At first I thought this was disgusting. But then after that... I was like, I'm not going to kill him. So I ended up keeping him as a pet. I ended up getting him like a sweet little playpen, a slide, a hammock, and a leash because I wanted to take him to set and walk him around... But then our landlord at the place I was staying found out."

Robbie's Priorities

Gettyimages | Pacific Press

Ultimately, the character just didn't fit in the narrative that Robbie wanted to tell. While shooting Suicide Squad, she "fell in love with” Harley Quinn and didn't understand why she would stay with a man who wants to kill her most of the time."

According to Robbie,"Harley has this unpredictable nature that means she could react in any way to any situation, which as an actor is just a gift."

Screenwriter Christina Hodson explained that Robbie "really wanted to see Harley with girlfriends, Harley in a girl gang. Harley is such a naturally sociable character. And I think there was just a general longing to see girls together on screen — women being friends."

Birds of Prey hits theaters without Jared Leto on February 7.

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