The story of a successful doctor who gets tortured and enters an abusive relationship with a psychopathic criminal hardly seems the material for a feminist role model, but Margot Robbie's portrayal of Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad has been getting high praises even though the movie hasn't been released yet. And now Warner Bros. is developing a stand-alone Harley Quinn movie with Robbie herself producing.
This is a huge deal for female cinematic superheroes, because although the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been pumping out a plethora of successful superhero movies, it seems to be taking its sweet time giving fans the stand-alone Black Widow or Captain Marvel movie fans have been waiting for.
Meanwhile, DC Comics is not shying away from putting a female lead in a superhero movie. Gal Gadot, who stole the show in Batman v Superman, is already well into the production of her stand-alone Wonder Woman film. And now, Harley Quinn will be the next female superhero who will headline her own movie.
Not only that, as announced by Hollywood Reporter, Harley Quinn may be joined by some of DC Comics' other hard-hitting women like Batgirl, Birds of Prey, or maybe even her on-again, off-again love interest Poison Ivy.
In addition, Warner Bros. has also reportedly hired an undisclosed female writer, brought on to the project by Robbie herself, to write the screenplay.
Recently, Robbie has revealed that she is more interested in driving Harley Quinn's story and character forward rather than just focusing on the obvious story line of her relationship with the Joker.
"I want to keep looking for roles where the main interest will be in the character and her importance in driving a story forward, rather than her relationship with a male character," she said in the print edition of Australia's Women's Day.
Many observers say that giving Harley Quinn a stand-alone film is a no-brainer for the studios. Although she is featured with an ensemble cast in Suicide Squad, just like she did when she was created by Paul Dini as a sidekick for the Joker, she managed to capture fans' imagination and fantasy more than her counterparts.
The huge success of Deadpool may have also played a role in the decision to let Harley Quinn go solo. Just like the wise-cracking, foul-mouthed Marvel anti-hero, Harley Quinn also breaks the fourth wall and is driven by her nihilistic streak.
Although we can't wait to see what Robbie will do with Harley Quinn in a solo, female-empowered flick, we will first see her in this summer's Suicide Squad.