Why Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn hot pants were digitally altered

Who wears short shorts?

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad
Batter up! Margot Robbie as everyone's favourite comic book character. Image Picture Warner Bros

Eagle-eyed Suicide Squad fans got worked up recently after noticing a strange detail regarding Margot Robbie’s hot pants.

Her Harley Quinn character is shown in multiple trailers wearing extremely short shorts, but according to Bleeding Cool some digital jiggery-pokery has gone into altering their length.

Yes, someone, somewhere has the job of frame-by-frame painting pixels onto Margot Robbie’s derrière.

The video below illustrates the change, comparing the regular trailers (long shorts) with the recently-released Comic-Con footage (short shorts).

Robbie herself addressed ‘Shortsgate’ in a recent interview with Smallzy’s Surgery, saying she was unaware about their alteration.

“I didn’t know about that,” she said. “Having been there on the day, they were very small – but wow, I wonder if they did? That would be extensive Photoshopping to do.”

“Having been there on the day, they were very small – but wow, I wonder if they did?”

In a previous feature in The New York Times, Robbie confessed to having a difficult relationship with her barely-there outfit.

“As Margot, no, I don’t like wearing that,” she explained. “I’m eating burgers at lunch time, and then you go do a scene where you’re hosed down and soaking wet in a white T-shirt, it’s so clingy and you’re self-conscious about it.”

As Harley Quinn, however, she wears the hot pants because “they’re sparkly and fun”.

So why so much CGI work on something so minor? It’ll all be down to ratings and what can and can’t be shown on TV and in cinemas.

Digitally lengthening the shorts to cover Harley up will mean looser age ratings and the ability to show the scene to a younger (and wider) audience.

For the hardcore Comic-Con geeks, though, it’s a case of less is more.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn