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Zack Snyder's Justice League Reveals A Dark Fate For Harley Quinn

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Contains major spoilers for Zack Snyder's Justice League

Harley Quinn is practically the antiheroic queen of the DC Universe, but the one place you aren't going to find her is in Zack Snyder's Justice League, which debuted on HBO Max on Thursday, March 18. Even at four hours in length, the film apparently didn't have room for Margot Robbie's Harley amongst the story of the greatest heroes on Earth battling Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) from remaking Earth in Apokolips' image. 

The outcome of the Justice League Snyder Cut is similar to that of the theatrical version that was released in 2017, in that the superheroes emerge victorious. However, it's a lot clearer in the director's cut that Darkseid is coming, and we're left with one final scene in which Batman (Ben Affleck) and his crew of misfits — including Cyborg (Ray Fisher), the Flash (Ezra Miller), Mera (Amber Heard), and Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) — wander around the post-apocalyptic hellscape Batman has a vision of. It's here, in the premonition of the Knightmare reality, where Batman has a brief conversation with the Joker (Jared Leto).

However, Joker's presence in the Snyder Cut does lead to some questions — the most immediately pressing of which regards Harley Quinn. If Joker's around, then where's his beloved partner in crime? The couple did break up prior to the events of 2020's Birds of Prey, which takes place after Justice League, but wouldn't she return to the mix when literal hell breaks loose like Batman predicts it will? In a key piece of dialogue in Zack Snyder's Justice League, Harley's fate is revealed.

Harley Quinn died in Batman's arms

Affleck's Batman and Leto's Joker may have technically had a scene together in Suicide Squad, but some of the best moments these characters had in the comics was when they had a chance to sit down and talk with one another. That's precisely what Snyder has given us with his cut of Justice League. 

In the film, Batman has another vision of the Knightmare reality that seems to be what's destined to happen when Darkseid comes to Earth. This sequence shows Batman agreeing to a truce with the Clown Prince of Crime; however, while they don't go at each other's throats in the moment, it's clear there's still a lot of animosity between the two, especially when Joker brings up the Dark Knight's greatest failing: allowing his sidekick Robin to die.

Batman throws this statement back at his arch-nemesis by mentioning how Harley Quinn died in his arms. He also tells Joker that Harley made him promise that when he finally killed her ex-boyfriend, he had to do it slowly. "She begged me, with her last breath, that when I killed you — and make no mistake, I will f***ing kill you — I do it slow. And I'm gonna honor that promise," Batman says. It's an intense moment, and the magnitude isn't lost on Joker, who quivers after the threat. 

No more information is given outside of that, such as what caused Harley Quinn to die, but one thing is abundantly clear: She and Joker definitely didn't make up before her death. While it seems unlikely at this point that Justice League 2 will come to fruition, especially with Snyder at the helm, we at least know that Harley probably won't have a role within the Knightmare timeline if the project does happen someday.

What does Harley Quinn's future in the DCEU look like?

So, is there a chance we could actually see this heartbreaking death scene come up in a future DCEU film that isn't a Justice League sequel? Don't hold your breath.

Outside of a role in the upcoming Flash movie, it's looking more and more unlikely that Affleck will be the mainline Dark Knight going forward — especially given the fact that Batman's getting a solo movie that stars Robert Pattinson as a younger Bruce Wayne and doesn't seem to have anything to do with Snyder's films. Despite all of the shaky continuity within the DCEU, Robbie's Harley Quinn appears as though she'll continue to be a force in the franchise going ahead. In just a few months, she'll appear in The Suicide Squad, which debuts in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6, 2021. 

Beyond that upcoming movie, it's unclear what Harley Quinn's cinematic future could entail. The Suicide Squad writer-director James Gunn teased on Instagram a while back that he and Robbie discussed working together in the future (via CBR). One would assume if The Suicide Squad is well-received, a follow-up would be in the cards, with Robbie returning to the cast. There's also the possibility of a sequel to Birds of Prey as well as a solo Harley Quinn movie. There's a lot of room for growth with the antiheroine, and DC probably isn't going to kill her off any time soon just to make good on a scene that exists only in a director's cut version of a film.

Of course, with the Flash movie likely messing with DC's multiverse, perhaps there will be a timeline where Harley actually does die in the manner Batman describes to Joker.