When Harley Quinn first appeared in the an early episode of Batman: The Animated Series called “The Joker’s Favor,” she was an instant hit with fans. Like a couple of aspects of TAS, Harley eventually made her way to the mainstream DC Comics universe where she has flourished, appearing in numerous comic book series, including her own solo book. So it should really come as no surprise that the character is so highly in demand for those working on DC properties in other media, like, say Arrow. But if you’re waiting for Stephen Amell’s archery-friendly vigilante to face off against Mr. J’s Girl Friday, you’re going to be sadly out of luck.
Remember this scene from last season’s Arrow episode about the Suicide Squad called simply “Suicide Squad”?
According to Arrow executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, that little two-second pop-up for Harley was not very easy to get. More to the point, if you’re hoping for a Harley-reprieve in the upcoming third season of Arrow, you’re about to be disappointed. Kreisberg explained why to Comic Book Resources:
“There are very few things we’ve asked DC Comics for that we haven’t gotten. That was something you asked for, and what you saw is a compromise that Geoff Johns and I came up with. To even get that much was a thrill for us. I know that they may have other plans for her, but it was certainly an Easter egg that thrilled us. But the Suicide Squad will definitely be back. Whether we see the ‘deranged female killer’ we saw before, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Interesting that DC Comics would bulk at letting Arrow use a tertiary character in full when at the time there was no solo Batman film or TV project in development. Gotham was already in development this past winter, so might we think that Bruno Heller might have plans for Quinn? Or perhaps DC Comics is playing a long game and presuming that they’ll use Harley when they get back to making a solo Batman movie later this decade. With an experienced Batman now sown into the movie canon, it would make more sense to introduce Harley there assuming that the next Joker is also already established in this universe.
Fun fact: did you know that Harley Quinn was supposed to appear in a previous Batman film? Back when everyone at Warner Bros. thought that Batman & Robin was going to be the Dark Knight of 1997, they greenlit Batman Triumphant for a summer 1999 release with the Scarecrow (to be be played by Jeff Goldblum or Nicolas Cage) and Harley Quinn (to be played possibly by Madonna) as the villains. Of course, Harley was to be re-cast as The Joker’s daughter and not his partner, but she was still going to be there. For better or worse, we’ll never know how that movie would have turned out.
Arrow returns October 8 on The CW.
Source: Comic Book Movie