Though it has been well known that filmmaker David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” originally contained a bigger storyline for Jared Leto’s take on The Joker, specifics of just what the character got to do in those cut scenes has been something of a mystery.
Now Ayer himself has shed some light on what he originally envisioned for the villain, namely how the relationship with Harley Quinn was how Harley’s story arc was effectively removed by the edit. Talking on Twitter, Ayer says:
“After Joker dropped [Harley Quinn] from the [helicopter] and crashed, Enchantress made a deal with him. He was going to take Harley home and be ‘King of Gotham’. Harley stood up to him and refused to betray her new friends. The Squad turned on him and he escaped.”
That escape was seen in the trailer which included a shot of Joker covered in ash pulling the pin on a hand grenade and yelling “bye bye”. In the film though, the Joker isn’t shown after his helicopter crash until the post-credits scene when he busts Harley out from prison.
Ayer followed up his comments saying the original edit was Harley going from being Joker’s abused pet, to breaking free of him and out on her own with her new friends: “That was her arc. Growth and empowerment.”
The suggestion is some of the earlier cut scenes with Leto’s Joker were to show him being far more abusive to Harley so as to tie in to the arc. When the arc was cut, those scenes were whittled back to make their relationship seem more romantic.
Either way, there’s plenty more opportunities coming in the near future for Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn to get a stronger story arc with at least three films in development featuring her.