From one Harley Quinn to another…
The character of Harley Quinn has always been a little tricky. First introduced in 1992 in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, she was initially intended to be a walk-on, one-episode character. However, after watching a rough cut of her premier episode, producers were impressed and thought the character deserved more screen time. Over the course of The Animated Series, Harley (Arleen Sorkin) would have recurring roles and would eventually take a spot as the love interest for The Joker (Mark Hamill).
The character’s popularity carried her over from the animated series to take a spot in DC comics and eventually become a canonized character within Gotham City and the DC Universe. Comics, animated films, and video games all saw her make an appearance in one iteration or another, but always the wisecracking, violent villain with a heavy eastern dialect. With as much popularity as she had gained, it’s surprising to note that the character’s first live-action appearance didn’t occur until 2016!
The Australian actress Margot Robbie brought Harley Quinn to life on the big screen as part of Suicide Squad (2016). Though her appearance drastically differed from the 1992 version, many elements survived that original introduction. Despite a lukewarm reception to the film, many fans of the DC Universe agree that Robbie’s interpretation of Quinn was a bright moment and held true to the character.
Robbie would go on to reprise her role in both Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (2020) and The Suicide Squad (2021), maintaining the fans’ love and even garnering praise from the creators of the character. Despite the indifference and sometimes outright dislike for the Joker (Jared Leto) playing opposite her, many fans believed that she would continue in the DC Universe until the shakeup started at the studio, with the installation of James Gunn and Peter Safran as heads thereof.
A new Harley Quinn was recently cast and is set to appear in the sequel to Tod Phillips’ Joker (2019). Lady Gaga will appear in the film Joker: Folie à Deux (2024) opposite Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. Though it has been said that the Joker sequel will not be DC Extended Universe canon, it will be interesting to see another interpretation of the character so soon after Robbie’s. It also begs the question: what does Margot Robbie think of the casting?
In an ET interview, the actress was asked that very question. Not holding back her feelings, Robbie said,
“I think she’s going to do an amazing job. I’m so excited; it’s all I could’ve ever hoped for Harley was that she would become one of those characters, kinda like Batman or Hamlet, that’s [Sic] gets handed from actor to actor, everyone gets a go at playing them…So, I think it’s just credit to her as a character that people want to see her in multiple iterations. I’m excited.”
It’s clear that there’s no animosity or ill will between Robbie and Lady Gaga over the role, and if Margot Robbie’s reaction is anything to go by, audiences are in for a treat in 2024. Though few details are available for Joker: Folie à Deux director Todd Phillips promises an equally seedy locale, and the return of Joaquin Phoenix as Joker, with Lady Gaga as the new Harley Quinn.
What do you think about the casting of Lady Gaga? Let us know in the comments below!