David Ayer Confirms Which Character Killed Robin in the DCEU

Wednesday, 10 August 2016 - 11:23AM
DC Comics
Suicide Squad
Harley Quinn
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 - 11:23AM
David Ayer Confirms Which Character Killed Robin in the DCEU
Robin has become a spectral figure in the DCEU. Ever since his suit showed up in Batman v Superman, which was apparently graffitied by the Joker and kept as a morbid motivator for Batman, fans have been speculating that we'll see an adaptation of the famous comic Death in the Family, in which Joker brutally tortures and kills Jason Todd. A Suicide Squad Easter egg indicated that this classic story would be changed significantly in the DCEU, leading many to believe that Joker doesn't actually kill Robin. Now, Suicide Squad director David Ayer has revealed which character was responsible for the murder in DCEU canon.

Possible spoilers ahead! (Click to reveal)


In Suicide Squad, a blink-and-you-miss-it appearance of Harley's criminal record onscreen revealed that she was an "accomplice" in the murder of Robin. This means that she was probably present for Jason Todd's death, which is already a very different version than we've ever seen before. Some outlets went a step further and speculated that she was the one to actually carry out the murder, but according to Ayer, the identity of Robin's killer stays faithful to the comics:

Opening quote
"Joker killed Robin and Batman basically smashes his teeth out and locks him up in Arkham Asylum," Ayer said while explaining Joker's tattoos and grill in an interview with Empire. "It's in the asylum where Joker would have done the 'damaged' tattoo as a message to Batman saying, 'You've damaged me. I was so beautiful before and now you've destroyed my face.' That's where the grill comes from."
Closing quote

To be fair, Ayer says that his interpretation of Joker's tattoo is "sort of my personal thing and maybe less about a larger connection." But since Ayer is the first one to write a Joker story in the DCEU, he would presumably know Joker's canonical backstory, especially the parts that relate to characters and plot points that have already appeared in other films. At the very least, he needed to know exactly what happened to Robin in order to write Harley's criminal history. So it seems that Harley was present for the murder, but that Joker actually killed Robin, as he did in Death in the Family.


Ayer also discussed the various changes Suicide Squad has been through, and seems to somewhat confirm that there were competing cuts:

Opening quote
"The very first script started in Belle Reve and told the backstories of everybody in these sort of flashback montages. The original conception is that there would be these memory bursts as they sat in their cells recalling their previous lives and also get the audience up to speed about who they are and how they ended up there. The first impulse was always to do a montage in the first act, but you chase different things.

"There's a linear version we did where it opens up with June in the cave and tells the story in sequence with the arrests and Batman, and then we go to Belle Reve. Honestly, there may be six or seven different versions of the film. In that version, [test] audiences were left with a lot of questions and a little disoriented as to who to watch and why. So we came up with what we call the 'dossier' version which has Amanda presenting the backstories and origins of the various members."
Closing quote

Honestly, this isn't entirely revealing, since the first section of the movie was hardly the primary problem with the movie. If anything, it started off strong and went downhill from there. But at the very least, this confirms that there was a lot of disagreement behind-the-scenes, which could explain why it felt so tonally all over the place.

Suicide Squad is now out in theaters.
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Suicide Squad
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