I’ve been following news regarding the solo Harley Quinn project ever since its first few moments of speculation, increasingly encouraged by every new bit of information that I’ve heard.
A solo Harley Quinn film? I’m cool with that.
It’s going to feature a primarily female cast of characters? Tell me more!
The writer is going to be a woman? Shut up and take my money!
But the most encouraging news of all is what has been most recently announced: the film is going to focus on the Gotham City Sirens, meaning that not only is my all-time-favourite girl Harley Quinn going to be a primary focus (cue the fan-girl squeals for that already), but two more of my favourite DC women are going to play a starring role as well: Poison Ivy and Catwoman.
I may never stop screaming.
And so, I’ve decided to make a list of the things that I’m most hopeful to see in the upcoming Sirens movie. It isn’t a complete list – I decided to focus solely on the things that I could actually see creeping their way into the movie. As much as I’d like to see the abuse between Joker and Harley explored in this film, I will acknowledge that it was swept completely under the rug for Suicide Squad, and so it might be a little late in the game to throw it in. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other things that I’m hoping to see! Beautiful, wonderful, totally possible things that I’ve collected here and I’m seriously hoping to see!
And so, without further ado, here they are: the top five things that I want to see in the Gotham City Sirens movie!
1. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy’s relationship
I could potentially mean this in two ways: on the one hand, I want to see them as a couple. I want one of my favourite bisexual comic book characters to be outed for the film audience, and I want to sit in the movie theatre in a puddle of my own tears as I watch one of my favourite comic book couples flirt with each other and care about each other and just be plain-and-simple adorable.
But, at the same time, as hopeful as I am that the studio will have the strength and integrity to represent a bisexual couple for the mainstream audience, I can totally see them deciding that they don’t want to deal with the controversy, especially considering they already wrote out the Joker-Harley-Deadshot love triangle in the Suicide Squad movie, because they wanted to endear Joker and Harley as the main couple (barf). I’m not saying that I agree with that decision – I’m just saying that I can see it happening.
And so I’d settle for a good representation of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn as friends.
I want to see two women care about each other.
I want to see two women support each other and hold each other up, even at the worst of times.
I want to see Poison Ivy realize that, even though she never thought that she’d connect with a human after the experiment that turned her half-plant, she actually really, truly cares about Harley, and wants to keep her safe and happy.
I want to see Harley defend her best friend to the death, against all odds and obstacles.
I just really, really want their relationship to be the main heart of the film, you guys.
2. Poison Ivy’s backstory explored
My primary hope for this film is that all three of the sirens will be represented as complex human beings, rather than the walking sex dolls they’re too often reduced to. And one strong way that I can see this being accomplished is by exploring Poison Ivy’s backstory.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Poison Ivy’s backstory, she was a botanist who was used by her boss for scientific experiments, resulting in her becoming half-plant and having a very difficult time connecting with other human beings, both because she was genetically different from them now, and because her boss violated her trust hugely by turning her into what she became. When explored right, this can make Poison Ivy a very intriguing character, taking the Batman villain who walks around nearly naked and uses pheramones to attract men, and turning her into someone who is very human and very, very hurt.
And I want to see this.
I think it’s only fair, after all – we had Harley Quinn’s backstory explained in Suicide Squad, and as much as I don’t want Catwoman to be simply swept under the rug, she’s already had two live action films that gave her backstory justice. All Poison Ivy got was that terrible Uma Therman adaption that, let’s face it, didn’t explore the conflict of being a half-plant woman in a human society all that well.
And, besides, we can marry this plot line with the first one I suggested – maybe the whole film is about Poison Ivy finding it difficult to connect with anyone after the experiments, but she eventually finds a strong bond in Harley Quinn (and, to a non-lover extent, Catwoman).
3. Catwoman and Batman’s relationship
I know, I know, I already stated that Catwoman’s story has been given its proper dues in two live action movies, and that is true. But, come on – who doesn’t love the complex rooftop trysts between these two?
Like I said, I want Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn to be the main heart of the film, whether they be lovers or friends, but in the background, it would be nice to have the occasional flirtation between these two.
Batman and Catwoman are incredibly complimentary characters – intriguing apart, both of them, but fascinating together. And I always want to see more of them. Not as the film’s main couple or anything like that – I want most of the focus to be on the women, but present nonetheless.
4. A new costume for Harley Quinn
This one’s mostly a nitpick.
Because, look, I didn’t hate the costume from Suicide Squad. It was nice and recognizable and all, but it just didn’t fit into Harley’s whole clown theme for me. I think that her costume has a lot of potential for improvement, and a new film is a good opportunity to take advantage of that.
And another reason why Harley needs a new costume: because Harley changes her costume all the bloody time in the comics. The girl loves her fashion, and any chance she gets to change her look, she’ll take. So all I’m saying is that it would fit her character to have her suddenly decide “yeah, that look was cute – but now it’s time to move on to something new!”
5. Lots and lots of badass, beautiful, and complex women
This is what it all boils down to for me. This is what I am most excited to see in this film.
Because, as a feminist, a woman, and a fan of DC, I will admit that the comics have occasionally dropped the ball for these characters. Some have downplayed their brilliance. Some have forced them to take a back seat to the male characters. Some have reduced them to nothing more than empty shells of a person with huge boobs for men to ogle at. And as much as I love Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy’s relationship, I will confess that there have been times in the comics when the only purpose it played was to make men drool at hot, bisexual women.
But that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case for this movie.
This movie has the potential to be brilliant, because it takes (at least) three women who are incredibly complex and strong when they’re written right, and it puts them in the role of the main characters. They can be thoroughly explored, they can be established. They can be weak and cry, and then pull themselves right back up and kick some ass.
I want these women to be complex.
I want them to be vulnerable, and strong, and above all, human.
I want to see three of my favourite comic book characters be done justice.
And as much as I have no evidence that that is what’s going to happen with this film yet, it’s still early enough for me to dream.