It seems that one of the most effective ways for a film industry figure to get tongues wagging nowadays is to post a photograph without comment on social media.
David Ayer, director of Warner Bros/DC movie ‘Suicide Squad’ – who may, or may not, be attached to helm spin-off ‘Gotham City Sirens’ – did just this on Sunday, and it has fans everywhere pondering as to what it all might mean.
The 49-year old filmmaker tweeted an image from his critically maligned but commercially successful 2016 DCEU movie, showing Jared Leto as The Joker and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn; a brief moment in which she is seen in the character’s original harlequin costume.
As we should immediately make clear – we have no grounds on which to declare that Ayer’s tweet means anything. Filmmakers have been known to post images from the films online from time to time. It also bears mentioning that the character of Harley Quinn recently marked her 25th anniversary, so perhaps this was just Ayer’s way of paying tribute.
However, it seems possible that Ayer may have been demonstrating his love for these characters to re-assert his commitment to the DCEU, following widespread speculation that he may not work with DC again.
‘Suicide Squad’ is known to have been a troubled production, and it has been widely rumoured that the experience soured Ayer’s relationship with Warner Bros/DC. The director added fuel to the flames at San Diego Comic Con, with remarks alluding to his dislike of “bulls**t standard issue studio PG-13” films (‘Suicide Squad’ having been a PG-13 movie in the US, despite winding up a 15 in the UK).
There was seemingly never any question of Ayer returning for ‘Suicide Squad 2,’ which recently locked Gavin O’Connor to write and direct. Instead, Ayer was set to reunite with Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie on ‘Gotham City Sirens,’ poised to team up Harley with Catwoman and Poison Ivy.
However, with a Harley Quinn/Joker movie being rushed into development with directorial duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, plus a standalone Joker prequel from director Todd Haynes and producer Martin Scorcese, it looked as though ‘Gotham City Sirens’ was falling off the radar (although the studio promptly denied this).
Is this tweet Ayer’s way of telling us he isn’t done with Harley and Mr J? Or did he just tweet a photo of them because he felt like it? Judge for yourselves. Either way, Robbie and Leto seem certain to be back in ‘Suicide Squad 2’ and the as-yet untitled Harley Quinn/Joker movie.
The DCEU continues with ‘Justice League,’ opening 17 November – and if you’re having difficulty keeping track of all things DC, here’s a handy guide to everything they currently have in the pipeline.