The Suicide Squad Proves We Need a Gotham City Sirens Movie

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad is finally here with fans and critics alike thrilled with the latest entry to the DC Extended Universe and how it brings together some of DC’s strangest and most vicious criminals for a dangerous, larger-than-life mission. The film already has prompted calls for more, be it a third Suicide Squad film or more spin-offs of the DC “villain-verse” but if there is one project that The Suicide Squad proves we need it’s a Gotham City Sirens movie thanks not only to the evolution of the Harley Quinn character displayed in the film but the film serving as proof that villain teams make for films that are just as interesting — and perhaps even more so — than those that center around heroes.

Just a heads up: there will be some spoilers for The Suicide Squad beyond this point. Turn back if you have not yet seen the film.

Gotham City Sirens is a project that has been discussed for a long time and, following the release of David Ayer’s 2016 Suicide Squad even seemed like it might happen. It was announced in late 2016 that Ayer had been brought on board to direct the film which would see Margot Robbie reprise her role as Harley Quinn. However, the film eventually evolved into the Cathy Yan-directed Birds of Prey and currently, Gotham City Sirens is on pause though interest in the film remains. Robbie herself said last year that she “definitely would be interested to pursue” the project and explore Harley’s dynamic with Catwoman and Poison Ivy, the other female villains central to the Gotham City Sirens comic.

But why now, after The Suicide Squad and not Birds of Prey, is the time right? The primary reason is that the version of Harley we get in The Suicide Squad is the most fully-developed and fully-realized version of the character we’ve seen to date. Harley as portrayed in The Suicide Squad maintains her loud, brash, and bonkers personality, but comes with a stronger sense of self than we’ve ever seen. In Suicide Squad, Harley was still very much tied to the Joker and when we see her in Birds of Prey, she’s broken free from him but is still finding her voice and identity without him. In The Suicide Squad, Harley knows herself fully, something that is perhaps most clearly demonstrated when she enthusiastically (if not ill-advisedly) chooses to accept Corto Maltese dictator Silvio Luna’s (Juan Diego Botto) advances and then terminates the relationship after identifying red flags and having promised herself she won’t be in toxic relationships again.

This Harley is the kind of anti-hero ready for Gotham City Sirens. Not only is Harley her own person in a way we’ve never really seen before, but her story no longer has to revolve around a male influence. While one can argue that Harley was fairly independent in Birds of Prey, her story did still revolve around the Joker. Her entire conflict with Roman Sionis/Black Mask comes from Harley no longer being under the Clown Prince of Crime’s protection. By the time we see her in The Suicide Squad, she’s past that. Her crimes and actions are her own which means that, after the events of The Suicide Squad which sees her released from her imprisonment, her return to Gotham would be on her terms as an established figure, not someone’s ex-girlfriend and certainly someone who can protect herself. It makes her a much more powerful character and a perfect ally for two other powerful female villains — Catwoman and Poison Ivy — as now the story would be more about the women and not the men influencing their lives which was still a major part of Birds of Prey. And, to be blunt, we’ve seen more continuous character development with Harley Quinn in the DCEU than we have with either Superman or Batman at this point. That forward momentum needs to continue.

Adding to Harley finally being at a point, character-wise, where the story and team-up make sense, The Suicide Squad itself proves that the brash, colorful villain-centric comic book story can make for an arguably better movie than more traditional superhero fare. While the Gotham City Sirens comic is a bit darker in tone — unsurprising given the Gotham City setting — it shares some of the qualities of Suicide Squad comics, particularly the use of more unusual characters such as the Joker’s original sidekick Gaggy, The Broker, Boneblaster. There’s a lot a film could draw from without having to tie the characters and story too much to any of the more traditional aspects of Gotham and the DC Universe while simultaneously further developing that corner of things to be explored by other characters in other films. The opportunities are endless.

With Harley Quinn coming into her own in The Suicide Squad as well as that film showing the potential of villain-centric films that utilize non-prestige characters in telling engaging stories, The Suicide Squad proves that the time is right for Gotham City Sirens. A Harley Quinn finally free from the Joker and who has just established herself saving the world is one that is ripe to return to Gotham and team up with two other, powerful female villains, shaking things up not just for Gotham City, but for the DCEU as well.

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