Margot Robbie: You don't need to have seen 'Suicide Squad' to watch 'Birds of Prey' (exclusive)

Rebecca April May
·Contributor
·3-min read

We may have been introduced to Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn in David Ayer’s 2016 film Suicide Squad, but new spinoff movie Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn only has a very loose connection to the previous film, its cast and director have revealed to Yahoo.

“[Birds of Prey is] separate [to Suicide Squad],” Robbie explains to Yahoo Movies in our interview above.

“In my mind, as an actor, I’ve mapped out chronologically what’s happened in between the couple of years where [Harley] would’ve been on that mission [in Suicide Squad], to this day in Gotham, and also the next couple of years that pass, when we’ll see her in the next Suicide Squad film.”

“So, in my head, I had to figure that out, just in order to play her, but it’s not something that audience members need to be aware of to understand. You don’t need to have seen Suicide Squad to watch Birds of Prey,” Robbie adds.

Read more: Birds of Prey gets positive early reactions

Director Cathy Yan goes one step further, saying that Suicide Squad’s characters – including Harley’s former beau Joker (Jared Leto) – might not even be the same incarnations in this new film.

When asked who she pictured as the Joker in Birds of Prey, Yan revealed: “For me, it mattered less, actually. It didn’t really matter which version of it.

“We pulled as much from Suicide Squad as we did from versions of the Joker in comic books as well, and we kind of kept it vague, because it’s really not about him. It’s about her.”

MARGOT ROBBIE as Harley Quinn in Warner Bros. Pictures’ <i>BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN)</i>, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
MARGOT ROBBIE as Harley Quinn in Warner Bros. Pictures’ BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN), a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Birds Of Prey is set after the events of Suicide Squad, though none of the other characters from the super-team of DC comics antiheroes appear in the new movie.

Instead, it follows Harley Quinn after a literally explosive breakup with the Joker – who doesn’t appear in the movie – and finding herself in the process: the “emancipation” of the film’s convoluted subtitle.

Read more: February’s most exciting new releases

Harley and the Joker’s breakup leaves Harley without the Clown Prince of Crime’s protection and with a target on her back. She’s on the run from the worst of Gotham’s other villains which leads her to team up with a new Birds of Prey gang of morally-questionable, and totally-deadly, lawbreaking heroines.

(L-r) MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD as Huntress, MARGOT ROBBIE as Harley Quinn, ROSIE PEREZ as Renee Montoya, ELLA JAY BASCO as Cassandra Cain and JURNEE SMOLLETT-BELL as Black Canary in Warner Bros. Pictures’ <i>BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN)</i>, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
(L-r) MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD as Huntress, MARGOT ROBBIE as Harley Quinn, ROSIE PEREZ as Renee Montoya, ELLA JAY BASCO as Cassandra Cain and JURNEE SMOLLETT-BELL as Black Canary in Warner Bros. Pictures’ BIRDS OF PREY (AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN), a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Explaining the lack of connection to Suicide Squad, Robbie said, “It’s kind of like the comics, in that you can pick up, and leave off, and pick it up somewhere else – the comics are like that, depending on who’s authoring them. And the films are like that, depending on who’s directing them.”

Director Cathy Yan explained to Yahoo Movies, “Suicide Squad is all about the relationship, in a way, which is great. It kind of goes into the origin story of her being Doctor Quinzell, a psychologist at Arkham Asylum.”

Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn with Jared Leto's Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad. (Warner Bros.)
Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn with Jared Leto's Joker in 2016's Suicide Squad. (Warner Bros.)

“She ends up working with the Joker, she ends up falling in love with Joker,” Yan explains, of Harley as depicted in Suicide Squad, “They have that relationship and we pick up right from there.”

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn lands in cinemas on 7 February.