One of The Suicide Squad's biggest stars nearly wasn't cast

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in The Suicide Squad
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn has arguably been the biggest win for Warner Bros' DCEU in recent times.

The actress' portrayal of the infamous supervillain/anti-hero has been lauded by fans and critics alike since Robbie first took on the role in 2016's Suicide Squad.

Robbie, though, may not have reprised her role for this year's sort-of-but-not-quite sequel The Suicide Squad – with Warner Bros. seemingly (and surprisingly) relaxed about whether she was included in the movie's line-up or not.

That's according to director James Gunn, who told SlashFilm that he was under no pressure from the studio to bring Robbie on board as the Crown Princess of Crime.

Asked about Robbie's involvement in the R-rated movie, Gunn said: "Exactly what they said was, ‘Listen, we love Margot, we would love it if she was back in the movie, but as long as you’re doing what you want to do … we don’t really care.'"

Warner Bros. were happy to give Gunn as much creative control over his vision for The Suicide Squad. It appears, then, that includes which comic book characters he wanted to use in his first DCEU film, as well as having the license to kill whichever characters he wanted to – Harley Quinn included.

However, Gunn chose to bring back members of David Ayer's Suicide Squad cast, such as Robbie and Viola Davis' Amanda Waller, telling SlashFilm: "If there’s something that’s good, why fix it?"

Analysis: is this the last time we'll see Robbie play Harley Quinn?

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in David Ayer's Suicide Squad

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Probably not. Robbie is synonymous with the character now and, while other actresses will portray Quinn in the future, it would be strange if Warner Bros. didn't bring her back for another movie or two. That is, if Robbie wants to return.

However, we won't be seeing Robbie portray Joker's former girlfriend for a while after The Suicide Squad.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly (EW) as part of the film's press tour, Robbie revealed that she would be taking some time away from the character, presumably to focus on other projects.

"It was kind of back-to-back filming Birds [of Prey] and filming this," Robbie explained. "So I was kind of like, oof, I need a break from Harley because she's exhausting. I don't know when we're next going to see her. I'm just as intrigued as everyone else is."

Robbie will star in La La Land director Damien Chazelle's next movie Babylon, which will arrive in December 2022, and has been earmarked to appear in an as-yet-untitled David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter) project. Robbie is also set to portray Barbie in Greta Gerwig's live-action take on the popular children's toy – a movie that Robbie's LuckyChap Entertainment company will also produce.

The actress and executive producer, then, is as busy as ever. Couple that with the fact that Warner Bros. currently has five other DCEU movies in production, and there isn't a necessity for Robbie to carry the studio's DCEU solely on her shoulders as Harley Quinn.

It's unclear if Quinn will survive in The Suicide Squad. As we said, Gunn had free rein to kill off characters in his upcoming movie, so even Quinn may not be safe.

For what it's worth, Robbie has teased the possibility that, even if Quinn does perish, there's a precedent in comic books for seemingly dead characters to come back to life without much resistance from fans.

"The film version of the DC universe, I actually think they're a lot like the comics," she told EW. You pick up one comic and something's happening, and then you pick up the next comic and maybe that character's not alive, maybe that character's not with that person, maybe that character looks completely different. Each movie is its own sort of thing, and I think that works in the comic book world, and I think that works in the DC film world as well."

The Suicide Squad lands in theaters and on HBO Max on August 5 in the US, and July 30 in the UK.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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