Harley Quinn is one of the rare DC characters that was introduced in an animated series but became so popular so fast that it was quickly worked into DC Comics as well. Nowadays, however, most people best know Harley Quinn as the actress who portrayed her in the DCEU – Margot Robbie.
So far, there have been three movies where Margot portrayed Harley, and although we all thought those days were over after James Gunn and Peter Safran took over the helm and revamped the DCEU into the DCU – it seems that Margot Robbie might just return to play Harley again. Until then, here’s a list of all three of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn movies in order.
Movies featuring Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn in order by release date
Harley Quinn became a popular DC character ever since her introduction in ‘Batman: The Animated Series.’ However, a huge surge in popularity happened when Margot Robbie took on the role in the DCEU. If you want to jump right in and start watching these films, here’s how they were released:
- ‘Suicide Squad’ (2016)
- ‘Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)’ (2020)
- ‘The Suicide Squad’ (2021)
Margot Robbie really captured something special playing Harley, which is why the portrayal received widespread critical acclaim. Throughout the rest of this article, we’ll explain how these movies are connected (as it’s actually not quite straightforward) and how it’d be possible for Harley to appear in a DCU flick.
Bear in mind we’re going to have some SPOILERS ahead if you haven’t seen any of these movies yet.
Are movies featuring Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn connected? What’s the best way to watch them?
All of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn movies are connected in some way through recurring characters, a clear timeline of events, etc. The confusion came due to ‘The Suicide Squad’ originally being marketed as a full-on reboot of the 2016 ‘Suicide Squad’ that flopped like a fish on dry land.
But then again, characters like Harley, Amanda Waller, or Rick Flag all returned in ‘The Suicide Squad’ – and it became clear that, despite the ‘full-on reboot’ premise, the movies actually fit into the same timeline. And the events of Harley Quinn’s solo movie, ‘Birds of Prey,’ fit right in between those two movies based on the fan-favorite Task Force X.
Now, the best way to watch these three movies would definitely be in release order – because it’s also the chronological order of events within the then-DCEU timeline. One could argue that you can actually watch all these movies as stand-alone films, but you’ll understand the small references and Easter eggs better if you watch them chronologically.
Here’s a full breakdown of all three Harley Quinn movies in chronological order.
Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn movies in chronological order
As I’ve mentioned, all three of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn movies are connected and belong to the same timeline. There was some confusion about where ‘The Suicide Squad’ (2021) fits and if it’s even the same cinematic universe, but small references in the film actually confirm that it wasn’t a hard-reboot film – instead, it was a kind of/sort of a sequel.
I’ll briefly break down each of these three films and explain where they fit into the timeline.
1. ‘Suicide Squad’ (2016)
Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) needs to assemble an expendable group of highly-skilled individuals to do a ‘dirty’ mission for her. So, she assembles a group of villains, names them Task Force X, and offers them lesser sentences if they accept the mission. Like Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc, and El Diablo, Harley Quinn is among others on the team.
They are formed to stop the Enchantress – a very powerful evil being threatening the planet’s very existence. As for our dear Harley Quinn, we soon learn that her real name was Dr. Harleen Quinzel, and she was a psychiatrist in Arkham Asylum, where she fell into the lovely clutches of the Joker (Jared Leto) and began their love-hate relationship.
2. ‘Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)
It has been four years after the Suicide Squad had defeated the Enchantress, and Harley Quinn continued her toxic relationship with the Clown Prince of Crime. Soon, however, he breaks up with her (for God knows which time) and tosses her out on the streets. Only this time, Harley decides she is not crawling back to him. This time, she is really done with the Joker!
She cuts her hair, adopts a hyena, and tries to recover from the breakup by drinking herself half to death every single night. Then she announces that she and the Joker are officially done by blowing up the Ace Chemical plant, but as soon as criminals she’d wronged before realizing the Joker doesn’t protect Harley anymore – they go after her hard.
Harley Quinn forms her own team of female vigilantes to help her take down Roman Sionis – a very evil crime lord of Gotham City. After the Birds of Prey finally succeed, Harley and her friend Cassandra start a business together after selling a big stolen diamond, and the last we see of Harley is her riding off into the sunset.
3. ‘The Suicide Squad’ (2021)
It was marketed as a hard reboot, but ‘The Suicide Squad’ is actually a sequel to both ‘Suicide Squad’ and the ‘Birds of Prey’ spin-off. Amanda Waller is reassembling Task Force X for another impossible mission. Only, this time, the team is different, consisting of villains like King Shark, Bloodsport, Polka-Dot Man, Ratcatcher 2, and Peacemaker.
On the other hand, characters like Waller, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, and Rick Flag all reappear, portrayed by the same actors and actresses – and they clearly know each other, referring to their past adventures.
Harley is even asked how she ended up in prison ‘again,’ to which she replies: ‘road rage… in a bank.’ Seeing that her last scene in ‘Birds of Prey’ was in a car, it’s quite possible that she ended up back in prison immediately after the end credits of her solo movie rolled.
Anyways, the ‘standalone’ sequel sees Waller form two Task Force X teams (each not knowing about the other) to destroy a Nazi-era laboratory in Corto Maltese that housed a secret experiment known as ‘Project Starfish.’ The first Suicide Squad gets almost completely wiped out so that the other can enter Corto Maltese undetected.
In the end, the two teams become one and ignore Waller’s order, destroying Starro, aka Project Starfish, before it destroys an entire city.
Where to watch the above-mentioned movies?
All these movies are a part of the DC(E)U, and all of them can be found exclusively on Max. If you don’t have a Max subscription, you can always buy/rent the films on Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Google Play, or Apple TV.
Will there be more movies featuring Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn?
The short answer is – we have absolutely no idea what the future holds for Harley Quinn and Margot Robbie. She may or may not return as a part of the new, revamped DCU, but it’s all still up in the air.
The long answer is – it’s likely going to happen. Margot Robbie herself stated that she’s ‘ready to do her again,’ as in, ready to play Harley again:
“I’ve had enough of a break. I’m ready to do her again. I did Birds of Prey and The Suicide Squad back-to-back, so that was a lot of Harley all in a one-year period, but that was a while ago now. I’m always ready for more Harley!”
Even the new DCU co-president James Gunn confirmed in a Tweet earlier this year that he’d love to work with Margot Robbie again – but never elaborated on which project. To add salt to the wound of those eagerly waiting for her return, Gunn didn’t mention Margot Robbie’s name among those who’ll return from the DCEU to his newly revamped DCU.
He mentioned Viola Davis’ Waller and John Cena’s Peacemaker – but Harley was never mentioned.
Honestly, my guess is that Gunn wants to keep it a surprise for fans if and when Harley Quinn reappears. After all, I doubt that Warner Bros. would simply allow Gunn to give up on Margot Robbie, especially now, considering her ultimate star-power after the huge success of the ‘Barbie’ movie.
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