The Suicide Squad: James Gunn asked to nix Harleys rotten tattoo – Insider

  • Warning: There are minor spoilers ahead for “The Suicide Squad.”
  • Harley Quinn’s “rotten” tattoo was removed from her jawline in the new movie.
  • Gunn made a few other alterations from the character’s 2016 look.

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

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

The large tattoo resided along Quinn’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

How the “rotten” tattoo appears in both “Suicide Squad” and “Birds of Prey.”

Warner Bros.


Gunn told a fan during an Instagram Q&A session in June, Screen Rant reported, the tattoo was removed after he learned Margot Robbie, who has played the role three times now, wasn’t a fan of it. Gunn said he 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 was the only one of Quinn’s many tattoos to be removed.

Its removal is not addressed in the film. While “The Suicide Squad” is considered a stand-alone film in the DC Extended Universe, it allows fans to speculate that Quinn’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 may also notice later in the film that Quinn’s “Property of Joker” tattoo now reads, “Property of No One.”

Property of Joker vs Property of no one tattoo harley quinn

Quinn’s “Property of Joker” tattoo was revised for “The Suicide Squad.”

Warner Bros.


Just about anything related to Quinn’s abusive relationship with the Joker has been scrubbed, which shows 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 Quinn’s jacket in 2016’s “Suicide Squad.”

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

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

Quinn’s jacket in 2016’s “Suicide Squad” versus Quinn’s jacket in “The Suicide Squad.”

Warner Bros.


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

A post shared by James Gunn (@jamesgunn)

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

According to the film’s production notes, Gunn also asked to do away with Quinn’s 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

Here’s Quinn’s nonpractical outfit in 2016’s “Suicide Squad.”

Warner Bros.


“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,'” Judianna Makovsky, a costume designer for the film, said in press notes.

Instead, Quinn wears a fitted battle look inspired by various comic looks.

harley quinn the suicide squad

Margot Robbie wears a more functional outfit at the start of “The Suicide Squad.”

Warner Bros.


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

The film is in theaters and streaming on

HBO Max
. You can read our review here.