‘Gotham’ E.P. Says Prequel Series Will Spawn Their Own Harley Quinn

Gotham, Harley Quinn, Joker, Suicide Squad

As Gotham heads into its third season, the showrunners are keeping their options open for future story arcs, which also means looking at new DC Comics villains to introduce into the show’s prequel tale. One such idea was recently revealed, just following the release of the Suicide Squad feature film and the ensuing love for Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Gotham producers are hoping to build on the sudden surge of interest in Harley Quinn by bringing a version of her to Gotham.

Gotham E.P. Wants To Tell Harley Quinn’s Origin Story

Barbara would have made a wonderful magician's assistant. ???? #Gotham

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In covering the Gotham panel at the recent Television Critics Association summer press tour, Cinema Blend shares news that Gotham executive producer John Stephens is very interested in bringing Harley Quinn back to the small screen. Gotham producers are no doubt hoping to build on the rising interest Margot Robbie has inspired with her Harley Quinn portrayal in Suicide Squad. Stephens, in suggesting Quinn’s origin story would be forthcoming, adds that they won’t drop or change current story plans for the sole purpose of bringing the female anti-hero into the mix.

“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.”

Some suggest that we’ve already been introduced to that Harley Quinn forerunner in the guise of Barbara Kean, played by Gotham‘s Erin Richards. Barbara has shown a flair for evil comparable to Harley Quinn’s sassy style and, even when she’s trying to be good, Barbara still doesn’t seem to be doing good for good’s sake. Instead, Richard’s Gotham character always seems to be looking for that angle to get in her love interest’s good graces. That should ring a bell with Harley Quinn fans.

Also adding to the supposition that Barbara Kean may eventually evolve into Harley Quinn is her past entanglement with another Gotham villain: Jerome Valeska.

Joker Will Also Be Coming To Gotham, Or Has He Already Come And Gone?

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While fans may have assumed otherwise, Gotham producers remind us that Jerome Valeska, played by Cameron Monaghan, was never revealed to have been DC’s infamous Joker. Valeska’s nature and M.O. led Gotham fans to assume that the character was an origin story for Joker, and even when Monaghan’s character was killed off, Gotham viewers assumed there was a trick to it and somehow Jerome would be back. The recent Indian Hill storyline adds credence to this supposition, but, again, the Hollywood Reporter reminds us that this may or may not be the truth of it.

“[The origin story for Joker] is a long game plan and a long story that we are telling here,” said Gotham executive producer Bruno Heller. “It’s the beginning of the story of how the Joker came to be, how the Joker was created, where he came from, who he is. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Cameron Monaghan is the Joker. He might be. But like I say, this is a story that begins about seven or eight years before the actual Joker arrives on the scene in his fully fledged persona.”

More recently, the Gotham showrunners have shared the news that there would be a greater Joker story arc in Season 3 of the prequel series, sharing some new insight into the overall plan for Joker’s involvement in the Gotham series. No one can argue that interest in Joker’s origins is as great as Batman’s development and that’s just how Gotham producers see the series evolving.

“We really imagined developing the myth of the Joker at the same time as we develop the myth of Batman,” Stephens said. “We really wanted to stretch that over multiple seasons. 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.”

Stephens adds that, as the seasons progress (and assuming Fox will sign on for future seasons), there will be greater story arcs to explore Joker’s mythology with Jerome as well as with new characters. This seems to suggest that Monaghan will be back, but also that the Joker presence may not be limited to just one villain on Gotham.

“We have these underground movements that have started to talk about Jerome and what he represented and how he’s going to come back, setting the stage for perhaps, if Fox gives us a season four, hopefully we’ll bring that back in a much bigger way and you’ll see these other versions of the Joker myth with Jerome and with other characters.”

Gotham will premiere Season 3 on Monday, September 19, on Fox.

[Image via Warner Bros.]