Directors MARGOT ROBBIE should work with

The biggest roles still await Margot Robbie.

Odys Korczyński

11 August 2023

Since taking on the role of Harley Quinn, Margot Robbie’s name has been growing louder, but I still have the impression that her biggest roles are yet to come. She’s still preparing for them, maturing. Maybe another 10 years, and this arduous honing of her talent will culminate in something truly magnificent. She’s still an actress building her career, not shining like a star that illuminates everything around it. Therefore, experimenting with her is possible, as her acting portfolio doesn’t show specialization. I hope it stays this way for a long time, because actors cease to be artists in their profession when they choose only one genre of roles. So, who could Margot Robbie play to surprise and enchant us before her 40th birthday?

Geralt of Rivia knew this well – once you meet Renfri, you won’t be able to forget her. Marked by the Curse of the Black Sun, or rather the curse of human superstitions, she was a princess and later an exceptional criminal, capable even of challenging the Butcher of Blaviken. She was wild, untamed, capable of stripping away and tearing apart the souls of her opponents. I write about her because only after the conclusion of the third season of The Witcher and the remarkable farewell with the brooch Renfri, which Henry Cavill bid farewell to, did I realize that Margot Robbie would be an excellent Renfri. Of course, I have no intention of criticizing Emmy Appleton, as her portrayal of Renfri was incredibly suggestive, but Margot would have done equally well. This might never come true, but if someone ever considered adapting Andrzej Sapkowski’s story “A Lesser Evil,” published in the 1990 issue of “Fantastyka,” it would be worth considering Robbie as Renfri. Another challenge is choosing the director for this film. Perhaps Alfonso Cuarón?

Snyder and Villeneuve

Staying in the realm of fantasy and science fiction heroines, there’s a film that’s very underrated by audiences and critics – Sucker Punch. It was directed by Zack Snyder, a director who likes second chances. The main role was played by Emily Browning, who still somewhat remains in the shadows of stardom. This raises the question: would Zack Snyder ever dare to return to this subject and create a sequel? The original was largely misunderstood due to its excessive abstract fantasy. Babydoll would undoubtedly return in the sequel. Emily Browning would naturally be the first choice for this role, but Margot Robbie could do equally well, especially due to her portrayal of Harley Quinn. The logical consequence of this role should lead to a truly grand, historic, and iconic genre production directed by Denis Villeneuve, who is striving to make up for the dull, pacifist scientific approach presented in his ambitiously artistic Blade Runner 2049. Assuming that the next installment of Dune, which we’ll see in November this year, will be a success, why not capitalize on this and create another film within the Blade Runner universe? After all, a series is coming to Amazon, focusing on events following those in Blade Runner 2049. But what about the time between 2019 and 2049? There’s a series called Blade Runner: Black Lotus that covers that. However, anyone expecting a specific timeline extension following Roy Batty’s death will be disappointed. I’m referring to this particular point. Denis Villeneuve would have an ambitious task ahead, this time without the pretensions of overly philosophical science fiction – that’s when this art truly shines. In this convoluted path, Margot Robbie could be a successor to the striking Daryl Hannah in the role of Pris, but Robbie could play a replicant inspired by Roy Batty’s lover. Robbie would also be a purely entertaining Nexus model but one drawing deeper insights from her short life. And so, through convoluted paths, we arrive at the fate of Rachael and Deckard in Blade Runner 2049.

Åkerlund and Yan

Margot Robbie is a young actress, somewhat more associated with fantasy and superhero genres than others. Even as this text develops, we can see the mark of comic book roles on her. There’s currently a hype for effects-rich fantasy. Even Barbie fits into this genre, though it is a film that’s quite different in tone and thought-provoking. So, it’s time to move Margot Robbie away from science fiction productions. There are psychological dramas, horror, and typical action/exploitation movies waiting. Let’s start with the latter.

Margot Robbie shines when she’s independent, naughty, aggressively feminist, and even destructive on screen, all while being radically exaggerated in her violence. Thus, a great place for her would be working on a sequel to Polar with director Jonas Åkerlund leading the project, and Mads Mikkelsen playing Duncan Vizla. Mikkelsen also acts as the screenwriter in this version of Polar, so I can’t wait for another dose of unrefined, meaty entertainment in a comic book style. But action in this type of exploitation cinema extends beyond just fantasy, even though it’s uniquely presented in a comic book manner. Training in these genres could lead to her becoming a star of typical action cinema, which, with Robbie’s strong character, should result in collaborations with directors who don’t merely replicate the formula but instead approach the genre without traditional constraints and trends.

And now back to Cathy Yan, whose next film I’m also looking forward to, and where Margot Robbie would likely feel more comfortable than with someone she hasn’t worked with before. Birds of Prey is not a masterpiece, and the main character chatters through the screenplay rather than realistically embodying it. Nonetheless, it’s not a bad form of entertainment, especially in today’s lackluster superhero cinema landscape. Cathy Yan still has much to do within the action genre. A chance for her could lie in temporarily setting fantasy aside and creating a typical action thriller with archetypal characters. However, the story would be told from the perspective of a female protagonist, who is by no means inferior to a male action star. Let’s recall the excellent Polish example of Agnieszka Grochowska in Mother’s Day. If the Poles succeeded, the specialists in Western cinema should succeed even more often, and this has happened many times already. Simply writing about it as a rare phenomenon speaks to the monumental path that this genre made by women has yet to traverse in media culture. Characters like those played by Margot Robbie prove that no gender should be privileged in cinema – and I don’t mean dividing between male and female. Therefore, Cathy Yan has a chance, one that Kathryn Bigelow has already seized, a true queen of action in film.

We recently heard about her latest project, provisionally titled Smuggler. It’s been quite a few years since Bigelow’s last film, and audiences are certainly curious about what new elements the director could bring to action cinema. We may find out in the next few years. So, it’s not unreasonable to dream that Margot Robbie participates in this project or, more specifically, collaborates with a creative mind like Bigelow.

von Trier

Somewhere in this speculation about potential roles, we forgot about psychological drama. After Terminal, Dreamland and Babylon, we know that drama and theatricality are not unfamiliar to Margot Robbie. However, this direction of her career is developing in the shadow of showy roles in the fantastical realm. Slowly, she’s being pigeonholed, and an opportunity to break free could be a collaboration with a challenging character in the realm of psychological deviations within the realm of cinema – Lars von Trier. By the way, he hasn’t stirred any controversies like those surrounding Nymphomaniac in a while. He could be the turning point in Margot Robbie’s career, because let’s face it, getting a role in a Tarantino film today is neither an achievement nor a controversy, at best, it’s bourgeois self-promotion.

Odys Korczyński

Odys Korczyński

For years he has been passionate about computer games, in particular RPG productions, film, medicine, religious studies, psychoanalysis, artificial intelligence, physics, bioethics, as well as audiovisual media. He considers the story of a film to be a means and a pretext to talk about human culture in general, whose cinematography is one of many splinters.

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