James Gunn Reveals Batman: Arkham Inspiration For Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn

By Savannah Sanders Updated:
The Suicide Squad Trailer James Gunn

One of the most anticipated projects coming from the DC Universe is the semi-reboot of The Suicide Squad featuring a stacked ensemble with the likes of Idris Elba as Bloodsport, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, and John Cena as Peacemaker

The two-hour and 14 minutes, R-rated film features the style and of director and writer James Gunn (of Guardians of the Galaxy fame) and is set to release in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously.

While Gunn and Warner Bros. are keeping many of the main plot points about Task Force X under wraps, fans won't have to wait much longer to find out. In addition to the film's rapidly approaching August 6 release date, James Gunn is opening up about his take on the villainous Harley Quinn.


Harley Quinn Batman Arkham Suicide Squad

Following the release of The Suicide Squad's latest trailer, the always generous James Gunn broke down elements from this latest promo including the always standout style of Harley Quinn. 

Beginning at the 3:46 minute mark of IGN's trailer breakdown, Gunn admitted that most of the questions he gets about The Suicide Squad have to do with what Harley Quinn is going to wear and if he intends to bring her red and black look to the screen.

The answer from both him and what fans have seen already, is, of course, yes, since he liked "the Arkham games look" of the character best.

"The truth is I had a huge map of all the different looks of Harley Quin throughout the years from various media, and one of them I like the best was the Arkham games look of Harley Quinn. Her first look in the movie is based on that."

The Batman: Arkham series is a collection of video games featuring Batman from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment that kicked off with Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009.

Alongside a slate of classic Batman villains (and the Joker) was Harley Quinn who ironically was voiced by Tara Strong — the current voice for Miss Minutes in Marvel's Loki series for Disney+.

But even though Gunn incorporated Harley Quinn's Arkham color palette into The Suicide Squad, he also had his own ideas saying, "...I knew I wanted to have something written on the back of her jacket motorcycle gang style. That's where I came up with 'Live Fast, Die Clown'."

Finally, Gunn touched on the red gown she's seen wearing in the trailer alluding to this choice as her "second look in the movie" and stating that it's "different from the comics or cartoon or anything else."

"Her second look in the movie is this beautiful red gown... I like it both as a beautiful gown, and I like it as it starts to get messed up a bit. I think it's starting to create her own iconic look that's different from the comics or cartoon or anything else."


Margot Robbie's version of Harley Quinn was one of the more popular elements of David Ayer's 2016 Suicide Squad film. In this respect, it makes sense for Gunn to receive so many questions about her look for his film and why he put so much thought into it himself.

The real question is whether her style choices for this version of The Suicide Squad will, in fact, be her last.

Margot Robbie has already claimed that "there’s no sequel in the works" for her 2020 Birds of Prey film. And if that's not ominous enough, Gunn has also said that “almost all” of the members of Task Force X will die in The Suicide Squad

So will the Mistress of Mayhem make it out of Gunn's film alive? Fans will be able to find out on August 6, 2021.

- In This Article: Harley Quinn (Season 4)
Release Date
July 27, 2023
Alan Tudyk
Kaley Cuoco
- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.