The lengthy subtitle for Birds of Prey, the Suicide Squad spin-off starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, includes the word “emancipation,” as in, Harley has emancipated herself from Joker. About time. Harley’s relationship with Mr. J, as she called her former-beau, was toxic, literally, and Robbie has no idea what Harley saw in him. “I guess what’s always surprised me, and I said this when publicizing Suicide Squad, the first film, is that her relationship with Joker always did confuse me the most,” she recently told Screen Rant. “That was the thing that took me the longest to get my head around.”
It should come as no surprise then that according to Variety, “Robbie confirms that Leto’s incarnation of the character doesn’t appear, not even as a cameo.” The Oscar-nominated actress did, however, have so nice things to say about another Joker:
As far as that other Joker goes, Robbie thinks Joaquin Phoenix “did a phenomenal job.” But Birds of Prey, she says, isn’t at all like the Todd Phillips film: “I feel like the ‘Joker’ film was much more grounded. Ours is different. It’s heightened.”
Joker had bullying, porno theaters, and “graphic killings and blood spatters/sprays, guns and shooting, and stabbings” (according to this very funny parents guide); Birds of Prey has a beaver named Bernie wearing a pink tutu. Like Robbie said, different.