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James Gunn removed Harley Quinn’s ‘rotten’ tattoo in ‘The Suicide Squad’ after learning Margot Robbie didn’t like it

Summary List PlacementJames Gunn's "The Suicide Squad" makes a few changes to Harley Quinn's character. The most noticeable is that Harley no longer has a "rotten" tattoo plastered on one side of her face. The large tattoo resided along Harley's jawline in both 2016's "Suicide Squad" and 2020's "Birds of Prey." Gunn told a fan during an Instagram Q&A session in June, via Screenrant, the tattoo was removed after he learned Margot Robbie, who has played the role three times now, wasn't a fan of it. Gunn didn't like it either. "Margot didn't like it and found out I also didn't like it...

James Gunn requested to remove Harley Quin's

Summary List Placement

James Gunn‘s “The Suicide Squad” makes a few changes to Harley Quinn’s character.

The most noticeable is that Harley no longer has a “rotten” tattoo plastered on one side of her face.

The large tattoo resided along Harley’s jawline in both 2016’s “Suicide Squad” and 2020’s “Birds of Prey.”

Harley Quinn's Rotten Tattoo in Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey

Gunn told a fan during an Instagram Q&A session in June, via Screenrant, the tattoo was removed after he learned Margot Robbie, who has played the role three times now, wasn’t a fan of it. Gunn didn’t like it either.

“Margot didn’t like it and found out I also didn’t like it so we decided just to remove it,” Gunn said on Instagram. 

According to the film’s production notes, it’s the only one of Harley’s many tattoos to be removed.

Its removal is never addressed in the film. Even though “The Suicide Squad” is considered a standalone film in the DC extended universe, it allows fans to consider that Harley’s character growth empowered her to have the tat removed as she no longer views herself in that way. 

It’s not the only tattoo that was changed.

Fans will also notice later in the film that Harley’s “Property of Joker” tattoo now reads, “Property of No One.”

Property of Joker vs Property of no one tattoo harley quinn

Just about anything related to Harley’s abusive relationship with the Joker has been scrubbed to show that she has moved on and is no longer lovesick over the Clown Prince of Crime.

“Property of Joker” was also written on the back of Harley’s jacket in 2016’s “Suicide Squad.”

Here, Gunn came up with a new phrase for the back of Harley’s new jacket. It reads, “Live Fast. Die Clown.”

Property of Joker jacket vs Live Fast. Die Clown jacket in The Suicide Squad

Gunn shared on Instagram that he came up with a few options for the new text, including “World’s Greatest Grandpa” and “Clown AF.”

Gunn asked to make one more change to Harley in ‘The Suicide Squad’

According to the film’s production notes, Gunn also asked to do away with Harley’s ridiculously revealing booty shorts from 2016’s “Suicide Squad” because they weren’t practical in a war scene.

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in 2016's Suicide Squad

“The first thing James said to me was, ‘I want to do the Harley from the comic. I want what the fans want, the red and black—I even want the hair red and black. And I don’t want the shorts anymore because she’s going into battle,'” said costume designer Judianna Makovsky in press notes.

Instead, Harley wears a fitted battle look inspired by various comic looks to show her character’s evolution.

harley quinn the suicide squad

The tattoo adjustments and costume revisions are  the small ways in which Harley’s treated with more respect in “The Suicide Squad.”

The film is currently in theaters and streaming on HBO Max. You can read our review here.

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