Thursday, July 24, 2008

Harley Quinn


The folks behind the Batman animated series of the 90s did a lot of great things, but one of the best was the creation of Harley Quinn. Dr. Harleen Quinzel was a young psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum who was manipulated by the Joker into letting him escape. She was so charmed by him (and she's also crazy) that she got herself a harlequin costume and decided to be a sidekick to the Joker (who she refers to as either "Puddin" or "Mr. J."). The Joker doesn't really want her around, but once in a while he finds her useful, and shows her enough kindness to get her to do what he wants. Which is usually enough to keep her completely infatuated with him.

Harley was introduced into the comics universe later and was just as successful there, most notably in the Eisner Award winning Mad Love. She's grown a bit beyond just being Joker's sidekick, having bonded with Poison Ivy, worked on her own, and even joined a team of villains.

Pros: Her costume, often accompanied by a comically oversized wooden mallet, is a crowd pleaser. She's a very popular character in general and can be a whole lot of fun.

Cons: So much of her identity is tied in with the Joker, and Heath Ledger's performance was too brilliant, and his death too tragic, for anyone else to play the part. And even so, Harley Quinn fits in a more kid-friendly, comical Gotham City, where the Joker has a flower on his lapel that sprays crazy purple knockout gas, or he carries a gun that shoots out a flag that says "Bang!"

How I'd do it: Like Calendar Man, but for a different reason, I just wouldn't do it. If the Joker could come back, one could easily tell Harley's origin, starting the movie with Harleen examining the Joker in Arkham and run from there, but even then she might just be too comical for the tone they've set in the movies.

Casting Guesses: Kristen Bell can do bubbly, Britney Murphy can do crazy, Scarlett Johansson can fill out the costume nicely and she's a good enough actor that she can do something with the part. Either of the three would be fine. Anna Farris might be the best choice though.

Verdict: No. Can't do Harley without her Puddin', and I'm not sure they'd want to anyway.

12 comments:

Zio said...

There's a way to work Harley Quinn in, not as the major villain but as a small menace, and just have her be the Jokers psychiatrist at Arkham (all you have to do is show her leaving a cell and the recording of Joker's laugh) and have her do a lot of copy cat crimes to distract batman from the real villain at large.

Like Scarecrow kinda was in batman begins

Anonymous said...

although I think Harley Quinn would be an great villian. a not as mentioned but just as deadly adversary would be Bane. it would be hard to find someone who is as big as Bane is, but brute strong and highly intelligent. Bane would be a fun to see in cohert with another villan.

NovakEndo said...

I realise it's too soon to replace Ledger but the Joker is too iconic a character to never bring back. He changes often in the comics so the only reason not to change the actor at the moment is out of respect for Heath.

I reckon in Batman 3 they have the main bad guy etc, but running along side it have a side story about Harley Quinn treating Joker. Joker offscreen all the time, just soundbites of his laught etc. And throughout the film Harley becomes more and more obsessed with him.

And the end of the movie, have a scene at the end of the credits with Harley in her costume, unlocking Joker's cell and saying something like "You're free Mr J", then have the shadowy figure of Joker stepping out. Setting up the next Batman film whereby a new actor can play Joker.

Anonymous said...

I think Fairuza Balk would be absolutley PERFECT for the role of Harley Quinn...

You should google her if you don't already know about her, but that to me is the perfect casting choice.

Mind At Large said...

Javier Bardem as the Joker.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Harley in the next Batman movie--and of course with her Mistah J. I know it's probably too soon to bring back Heath's Joker, but the guy from The Joker Blogs is ridiculously talented. And I wouldn't mind having him as the Joker for the next one. Going along with that I'd have the girl who's playing Harley in the Blogs play her in the movie, too.

Those guys are pretty talented, and it'd be a shame to hire some actor with less talent but a bigger name in lieu of someone who has immense talent and such a large amount of potential.

Anonymous said...

The best part of her character is her interaction with The Joker. With the unlikeliness of The Joker appearing in the next movie, I don't see the point of including her character.

Anonymous said...

What if she becomes harley quinn BECAUSE the jokers dead. LIke, she'd been "Harley uinn" for a while, setting up the bombs in the boats in the dark knight, letting scarecrow out of arkham, and killing some people. But then with joker either dead ior in arkham, she realizes that joker can't beat batman, so she goes out to do it herself. She works as a good secondary villain for someone like riddler or scarecrow.

Anonymous said...

To NovakEndo: IF a third Batman movie is made, there is a 99.8 % chance that it will be the final movie. I read that Chris Nolan have said that if he makes af Batman 3, it will be his last Batman film. I think he is aware that most nr. 4 movies are always too much. Trioligy is the way to go.

I do think Harley could be in the movie, besides another villain (like Two-face and Joker), but they should change her story up a bit. Make her a bit more villain and not just sidekick, Only with a few references to Joker. No replacement for Heath!

I would love to have seen Brittany Murphy as Harley, but that won't be possible:'-( So maybe Izabella Miko, Jamie King, Amber Heard or Abbie Cornish. Or maybe Evan RĂ¡chel Wood or Blake Lively? All beautiful girls and good actresses who no one would expect in this role:)

Anonymous said...

I forgot two... Sarah Michelle Gellar... She's a good actress, have the look and that little voice... And Anna Faris... I think she could surprise people. She has the face and the voice. if she turned on a dramatic and crazy attitude, i'd think she'd be great!

Anonymous said...

I reckon Allison Mack (Chloe Sullivan from Smallville) would be a good Harley Quinn. She's got this sweet, cute side just like Harley!!!
Oh and Heath Ledger R.I.P

Frances said...

If you're a fan of the Batman series, you'll surely recognize those who wear Harley Quinn costumes at BuyCostumes as well as other Batman villain costumes in an instant.