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After The Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn's next story must involve Poison Ivy

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy
(Image credit: Warner Bros./DC)

Warning: The following contains spoilers for The Suicide Squad.

Harley Quinn has burst back onto our screens in James Gunn's The Suicide Squad with colorful aplomb, Margot Robbie's chaotic clown being one of the few to survive Starro's attack. There's no word yet on when Harley will return, but when she does, it's clear that Poison Ivy should be by her side. The plant-obsessed supervillain has been absent from the big-screen since Uma Thurman played the character back in 1997 – and it's time she finally returned to terrorize the streets of Gotham. 

Harley's story so far has seen the Cupid of Crime break free from her toxic relationship with the Joker, as portrayed by Jared Leto in the first Suicide Squad. Their "romance" was undeniably unhealthy from the offset and, by Birds of Prey, Harley had already moved on, with Harley going as far as to blow up ACE Chemicals – the factory where she jumped into a vat of acid to prove her love. As far as metaphors go, it's pretty on the nose.

Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey

(Image credit: Warner Bros./DC)

So far, so good, but then The Suicide Squad – the confusingly named sequel/soft-reboot – showed Harley falling back into bad habits. After being taken prisoner, she's dressed up in a red ball gown and taken to the dictator of Corto Maltese, Presidente General Silvio Luna, who lays the special treatment on thick. Harley falls head over heels for him. However, things are quickly turned upside down as Luna raises a red flag and Harley shoots him.

That may be a huge stride forward for Harley, but it's clear she still needs a stabilizing influence – if not necessarily a good one. While Birds of Prey gave her Black Canary, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, and Renee Montoya as companions, their future is murky. No further projects on the release slate involve any of them, despite a fan campaign calling for Black Canary to get her own HBO Max series. In David Ayer's Suicide Squad, Will Smith's Deadshot seemed primed to be Harley's support, but the character's been missing in action since. Rick Flag – who acted as an emotional lynchpin for Harley in The Suicide Squad – died during the new movie, and she didn't exactly grow close to Bloodsport, Ratcatcher 2, or King Shark. There's no one left to fill that void – unless they introduce Poison Ivy. 

still from Harley Quinn: The Animated Series

(Image credit: DC)

In the comics, Harley and Ivy have an incredibly strong bond, despite the plant whisperer's famous disdain for humankind. Eventually, their relationship turns romantic, and in the Injustice alternate universe storyline, they're even married. The animated Harley Quinn series on HBO Max has already taken the duo in this direction, and there seems no reason this shouldn't be translated to the big screen, especially as Robbie has said multiple times that she's keen on the idea. 

"Trust me, I chew their ear off about it all the time," the actor said earlier this year. "They must be sick of hearing it, but I'm like, 'Poison Ivy, Poison Ivy. Come on, let's do it.' I'm very keen to see a Harley-Poison Ivy relationship on screen. It'd be so fun. So I'll keep pestering them. Don't worry." 

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If Poison Ivy does join the DC Extended Universe, then it opens up more potential projects, too. Gotham City Sirens – a team-up of Gotham's most-feared women – was announced years ago, but has since dropped off the radar. Should Warner Bros. revive that project, it would be the perfect place to bring Harley and Ivy together and could launch multiple spin-offs, such as a Selina Kyle/Catwoman movie.

Depicting Harley and Ivy's relationship on screen would also be a major step forward for LGBTQ+ representation. Birds of Prey's animated opening established Harley's bisexuality by featuring an ex-girlfriend who broke her heart, but making her romance with Ivy central to the movie's plot would be a huge moment, especially as superhero blockbusters have, so far, only included small nods to LGBTQ+ representation. 

The future of the DC universe remains unclear, but that uncertainty could work in its favor. There's never been an easier point to introduce Poison Ivy to Harley's storyline, and it's time to see their romance blossom.


If you're in the mood for a DCEU marathon after The Suicide Squad, check out our guide to watching DC movies in order.

Molly Edwards

I'm a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.