Suicide Squad Director Promises To "Do Better" Following Harley Quinn Criticism

David Ayer responded to fans who said that Harley was "sexualised" in the DC blockbuster.

Although the recent DC movie Bird of Prey was a commercial disappointment, it received much better reviews than the last film to feature main character Harley Quinn. Margot Robbie previously played the role in 2016's Suicide Squad, and now that movie's director, David Ayer, has apologized for the way the character was portrayed in it.

Ayer was initially pulled into a discussion on Twitter about the movie when he was asked if he would consider recording an audio commentary for Suicide Squad. When the conversation moved onto the "sexualised" portrayal of Harley in his film, Ayer responded by stating that "her story arc was eviscerated," and that "everything is political now." Another Twitter user then argued that all the choices that Ayer made for Harley in the film were "political," to which Ayer replied: "Retweeting because this is very thoughtfully written. Thank you for this. I am growing and learning in a changing world."

Despite the negative reviews that Suicide Squad received, it was a huge box office hit, making more than $746.8 million at the worldwide box office. A sequel was in development, but this was cancelled when Birds of Prey was greenlit.

Robbie will play Harley at least one more time, in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, which is scheduled for a 2021 release. The film isn't a direct sequel to Ayer's film but will feature several returning cast members, including Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, and Jai Courtney. The film also features Idris Elba, John Cena, Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, and Peter Capaldi. Gunn recently stated that the release of the movie won't be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harley Quinn also appears on the streaming platform DC Universe in an animated show. Season 1 premiered in November--in his review for GameSpot, Chris E. Hayner described it as a "great animated series and unlike anything else you'll find on DC Universe--or in the superhero genre. It's not afraid to be dirty and has an inspiring story at its heart."

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