Harley Quinn is one of the most popular DC Comcics characters right now, so it makes sense that the character would eventually be introduced in Gotham. Sure, it doesn’t make too much sense for Dr. Harleen Quinzel to be around when Batman doesn’t exist yet, but that hasn’t stopped showrunner Bruno Heller and his team from using just about every other Batman villain in the series. So, is Harley Quinn going to finally appear in the show during season three? Executive producer Ken Woodruff said that we might have already seen the character who will become Harley.
“You may have already seen Harley as a person that you thought you had met and known for a long time. So we always reserve the right to sort of do that as well,” Woodruff told IGN in August 2016.
John Stephens, another executive producer, told critics at the Television Critics Association press tour in August that they do hope to introduce a “forerunner” to Harley. However, he said that thanks to Suicide Squad, the real Harley won’t be available for them to use immediately.
“A lot of those [DC Comics] characters, because they’re in Suicide Squad, you’re not going to be seeing them this season,” Stephens said. “We’ll be seeing proto-versions of some of those characters. We’ll see a proto Killer Croc version. And we’ll be seeing a character, perhaps not this season but in times to come, who can be a forerunner of Harley Quinn, which will be fun.”
Back in 2014, Heller told Entertainment Weekly that Harley would appear in the series eventually. Heller explained at the time:
One of the things about the size and scope and ambitious of this production is that—it’s not that there’s lots of chefs in the kitchen, but there’s a lot of people with opinions and views and inside knowledge. That aspect of the show—which characters to use and when – is a source of constant discussion. And that may well have been an issue that came up and was dropped … We haven’t got Harley Quinn in it. Riddler’s girlfriend is coming up. And Harley Quinn is definitely planned for later on, but so far no.
Including Harley in the series wouldn’t make too much sense without a Joker. Jerome, played by Cameron Monaghan, has appeared in the show’s first two seasons as a crazy killer who had been teased as a possible Joker. But don’t expect to see him (or even another character) become The Joker any time soon.
“We really wanted to stretch that over multiple seasons,” Stephens said of the development of the Joker in August. “So in the course of this year, we’re going to see how the cult of the Joker, started at the beginning of last year, is going to extend and deepen and change this year.”
One possible Harley could be Barbara Kean (Erin Richards), who we know is clearly not following the traditional DC Comics trajectory of becoming Jim’s wife. She has already spent time in Arkham Asylum. Kean also runs the Sirens club, which might be a reference to Gotham City Sirens, a mini-series that starred Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.
Perhaps Harley will sprout out of that “cult of the Joker.” We’ll have to wait and see.