The first trailer for Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn has arrived, and in the midst of all the goodness that is Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, some still have questions about the Joker. Will the Joker be in Birds of Prey? And is the new Joker movie at all connected to Birds of Prey?
To tackle the latter question first, the short answer is no. Todd Phillips’ Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix is an origin story about the Joker that has nothing to do with the DC Extended Universe or any of the events from 2016’s Suicide Squad, to which Birds of Prey serves as a sequel of sorts.
In Birds of Prey, Robbie reprises her role from Suicide Squad. However, this time, instead of playing second string to male characters, Harley is living her best life post-Joker, who was played by Jared Leto in the film. Yup. The infamous clown couple has broken up, according to the trailer.
Leaked photos from the set show Joker tossing Harley’s belongings out of a window, but Leto is not returning in Birds of Prey. So, this cameo is probably just as long as the Joker's cameo in the first Birds of Prey comic was. That’s good for fans who want to see Harley have the “fresh start” she raves about after tossing knives at a drawing of the Joker in the trailer.
Instead of crying over the Joker or following his lead, Harley gets a chance to stand on her own and forge a new identity through friendships with other badass women, including Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead).That is something Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson said that Robbie, who also serves as a producer, was adamant about during the movie’s development.
“Margot knew she wanted to tell a ‘Harley Quinn plus girls’ story,” Hodson said in an interview with Total Film. “That was kind of where she began with it. She knew she wanted a girl gang. She wanted Harley to have friends.”
Sounds to us like no Joker, no problems.