Harley Quinn: how was the famous DC villain created?

From his first appearance in 1992 until “Suicide Squad” in 2016, the character of Harley Quinn is everywhere: animation, comics, TV film, video games… Back in images and anecdotes about his creation.

Warner Bros. /DC

Appeared in September 1992 in the animated series Batman, Harley Quinn, the former psychiatrist of the Joker who ends up falling in love with his patient, was so popular that DC Comics decided to import him into the Comics for the greatest pleasure of his fans. She was thus entitled to her own Comics in October 1999.

It is to the duo Paul Dini and Bruce Timm that we owe its creation… With a small advantage for Dini: he sought inspiration from the Soap Opera Days and Lives, broadcast on the NBC channel. Most notably in a dream sequence where actress Arleen Sorkin is disguised in a harlequin costume.

Below, Paul Dini discusses with Kevin Smith (big fan of comics in front of the eternal…) in voiceover about the creation of the character, on the images of the Soap Of Days and Lives.

Since his appearance in the animated series, the popularity of Harley Quinn has literally exploded. She notably resurfaced on the screen in video games, and in a brilliant way. The character thus appears in the saga of Batman: Arkham(Asylum, City, Origins & Knight).

Paul Dini being the origin of the character and having written the scripts of the two video games Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham CityHarley takes a big place there, highlighting and deepening her story as well as her relationship with the Joker.

She has two new costumes, far from the harlequin outfit of which she keeps only the makeup and the red and black colors, which she praises as being “too classy”. Note also that it is the actress Arleen Sorkin who lends her voice to the character, not only in video games, but also animated series and animated films!

Below and for fun, here is a nice montage of Cut Scenes of the character in the games Batman: Arkham

And here, below, the trailer of the DLC dedicated to the character in the final part of the saga, Batman: Arkham Knight

It was at the end of 2014 that Margot Robbie joined the cast of the Suicide Squad. If it appears logically in a good place on the poster of the film, the competition was nevertheless tough to win the role, if we judge by the list of candidates approached for the role: Imogen Poots, Felicity Jones, Alison Brie, Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde, Rachel McAdams, Zooey Deschanel, Lindsay Lohan, Kat Dennings, Jennifer Lawrence, Alice Eve, Amanda Seyfried, Evan Rachel Wood and Emma Watson. Just that.

The writers of the series Arrow intended to use the character of Harley Quinn, which the movie Suicide Squad prevented them from doing. In an interview with MTV, Willa Holland, the interpreter of Thea Queen, explains: “[Dans Arrow] we had the Suicide Squad and other things like ARGUS. We were really into it for about a minute. But then something happened from the DC side or above that said to us, “no, you have to stop and give it up because we’re going to make a movie out of it and we don’t want anybody to mess us up. that idea”.

Holland continues, a little bitterly: “So we had this hook with the ARGUS uniform and the appearance of Harley Quinn, and it was ripped from us. It would be great if we could have Harley Quinn on the show, but that’s never going to happen.”

Still, if the Suicide Squad released in the arena in 2016 is considered an artistic failure, Margot Robbie will re-emerge with her character on the reboot of the film orchestrated by James Gunn and released in 2021, and was even entitled to her own spin-off, Birds of Prey and the fantastic story of Harley Quinn. The film was, however, a stinging slap in the face for Warner with just over $205 million collected at the worldwide Box Office. The heroine may be struggling, at least on the big screen, to free herself from the rest of the gang of terrors from the DC stable.

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Harley Quinn: how was the famous DC villain created?

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