The recent DC film The Suicide Squad launched both in theatres and on HBO Max earlier this month and has been welcomed with high praise by fans and critics alike. Some of the most adored parts of the film have been its choice of imagery, humorous tone, and use of violence, but some of the inspiration came from places you may have not expected.
During a recent interview with Collider, film director James Gunn was asked about how he dealt with using Harley Quinn in the film, who is so well known and has appeared in multiple DC films prior, as well as the inspiration for the iconic hallway scene for the character within the film.
Towards the film’s climax, Harley Quinn has arguably her most impressive scene of the film as she ventures down a hallway to escape prison gunning down the enemies in her way. During this sequence, there is plenty of visual effects such as flowers and birds firing from enemies as they are gunned down, in contrast to its violent tone. Gunn spoke of this sequence naming a videogame he had worked on previously, Lollipop Chainsaw as his main inspiration.
“In that game, which I did was with Suda in Japan, I always loved the way that the hearts and beautiful little things came out of people mixed with blood,” Gunn said. “So, a lot of it goes back to that, the aesthetic of mixing this horrible gore with Harley’s starry-eyed way of looking at life and creating Harley-vision basically. So that was something that came on very early. It was in the first draft of the script.
Gunn also shared his joy in having the opportunity to use the character within his film and making his own adjustments to a character that has become so popular with DC fans.
“I felt excited, man,” Gunn said. “I love the character Harley Quinn. I love Paul Dini’s original Harley Quinn. I think she’s one of the most well-written, not always, but a lot. Being able to speak in her voice and to write for her was a privilege, but I also felt incredibly comfortable doing it.”
Gunn continued sharing that while Harley Quinn isn’t a “James Gunn character” in the way that he didn’t create her like he did Ratcatcher II or some of the aspects to King Shark, but he shared he was still “extremely comfortable making this the most Harley of all Harleys that have been on the movie screen.”