If you have been enjoying DC Universe’s animated show Harley Quinn, you have Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker. The showrunners behind this adult cartoon have been killing it lately with their weekly content. Since season one, the show has given rise to Harley Quinn, along with plenty of other characters on the show. After the events of season one, season two has not stopped topping its predecessor. The show is still in its second season and the showrunners of Harley Quinn took to a Live Q&A on DC Universe to answer some fans’ burning questions.
Obviously, fans are excited about Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn’s romance. It’s something that has been teased for a while in the comics and even happened at some point. So, considering how close the two are in the show, fans wondered if this was something that would happen in the show eventually. Despite Harley’s past relationship with the Joker and Ivy’s relationship with Kite Man. A romance between Ivy and Harley was teased beforehand, which one asked what was the reasoning as to why the show decided to spoil such a big event.
Peer pressure! I think it was something that we were excited about and I ended up spilling the beans a bit because I wanted to give some folks real hope that something romantic would be happening between Harley and Ivy. Plus we’ve had these scripts written since late winter 2019 so it’s hard to keep it under wraps for so long!
Another fan asked [about Poison Ivy]:
What are your favorite Harley Quinn and/or Poison Ivy stories/issues from the comics and why?
To which Schumacker responded:
We absolutely adore Poison Ivy in this show, but she is very different from all previous versions of her character because she isn’t a femme fatale. If you can, could you please share a bit about how you came up with this new version of her for the show and what it was like pitching the changes to DC?
Thank you for the bday wishes! And for your efforts in helping to spread the word on the show to help us make more of these. 1. I think hands down, the episode “Harley & Ivy” from BTAS is my favorite Harley and Ivy story. Maybe it’s purely nostalgia. But keep an eye in our season 2 finale for a cameo from the car Harley and Ivy ride in, in that classic BTAS episode. 2. Ivy’s essence in our show derived from wanting to find a good “odd couple” counterpart for Harley. The shorthand for the relationship at its most basic was always the dynamic between Ferris Bueller and Cameron Frye from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Ivy was the voice of reason, the reluctant companion that loved her BFF to death and would begrudgingly join on adventures. And then once we had our writing staff in place, Ivy’s voice was formed by the efforts of a ton of writers, and of course, Lake Bell, who gives Ivy her literal voice (and extra potty-potty mouth haha).
The Creative Process
Harley Quinn has taken a unique stance in portraying well-known DC characters. One fan asked about the process for creating the personalities for their characters:
What’s the creative process for developing each character’s personality? They’re all very charming and it’s interesting to see these unique portrayals of characters from the Batman universe.
To which Halpern responded:
I think our goal with every character is to make sure they have a unique point of view to the show. So, like, with Harley and Ivy we always looked at them as Ferris Bueller and Cameron Frye. One pushes the gas, the other hits the brake. But they also have incredibly different outlooks on life. We also try and think about if the character has something interesting to say about the world. Doctor Psycho’s character allows us to comment on misogyny but to do so through the lens of a character our main character has to work with. It allows us to have a more nuanced conversation about things.
Some fan asked about the decision to alter Bane’s character for the show so drastically from the comics:
Bane is my favorite DC villain and he is awesome on this show. So my question would be why did you choose to make him the pushover he is? Will he get his time to shine?
Enjoyed the batfamily shown in this. Alfred, Gordon, Bats, and Babs have been awesome. So I’m curious will other make appearances either in this season or the future?
It makes me so happy that Bane is your favorite DC villain and that you also love him on our show. That says a lot about you! We chose to make him a pushover because it just seemed funny to us that someone who is that ■■■■■■■ massive would be as thoughtful and mindful as he is. Like, he thinks through these and has feelings and those feelings get hurt, and yet he’s a giant hulking beast of a man who at the end of the day, blows a lot of stuff up. Also, I think a ton of credit has to go to James Adomian. James really fleshed this character out when he played him. He gets so much credit for creating the Bane everyone loves.
Who Would The Showrunners Like to Bring In?
One fan asked what characters would the showrunners like to bring into their show:
Thanks for stopping by and taking some questions from the fans! I absolutely love the show so far, and it brings me back each week to watch! I love how far the show goes each week!
My first question is what is one character that you would like to see in the show that hasn’t been in the show so far?
I love the obscure characters that are brought in. Condiment Man made my day. I loved the interactions between him. and Kite-man, and I still laugh when think of the puns he sent. What underutilized characters have you found to be the most enjoyable to use so far?
I would like to potentially explore characters from John Ostrander’s SUICIDE SQUAD run. Alan Sepinwall, a very talented TV critic and DC fan, really got me amped to read that run during quarantine, and I think at least Captain Boomerang needs to make an appearance if we get more episodes. And then, I guess underutilized is always subjective, but I think I’d like to continue Kite Man’s story well beyond this season.
What Other Animated Show Would They Work On?
Would the showrunners want to helm another animated show? Halpern answered:
Pat and I have been bothering DC about letting us do something with Booster Gold for like four years, I’m not joking. They have so far rebuffed our advances, but we’ll keep trying!
What Was a DC No-No?
One fan asked if there was something DC absolutely wouldn’t let them do:
Is there anything DC has said a definite NO to doing on the show? (I love the show so much!)
Really the only off-limits thing that I’m definitely aware of would be portraying beloved heroes like JL members as something they’re not. Their moral compass has to be intact from what we all know and love. But we still get to portray them through Harley’s POV and the show’s individual tone, which pokes a little fun at them without completely undermining their integrity. There was one time we did write in a joke where Queen of Fables’s Gingerbread Man named Mark spoke explicitly of certain sexual acts he performed for money, and that one we were asked to take out haha. Fair enough.
I think our original depiction of Aquaman was the only thing where DC said a firm no. Other than that, they were totally supportive. Honestly, I’ve never had a network be as supportive as DC was. At the very start, before we even began a writers room, they said “just make it funny, you have the keys to the castle,” and they kept their word. That’s so so rare and just a credit to Ames Kirshen at DC who was our executive on the show. He supported the hell out of this thing. When you see all the crazy ■■■■ we did, you can thank Ames for letting us do it.
Of course one of the big moments talked about from Harley Quinn was the inclusion of “Release the Snyder Cut” and “Last Jedi Isn’t Cannon” fandoms. This got a lot of people talking. So, how did this moment come to be?
What was the conversation like when you pitched the “Release the Snyder Cut” guy and the “Last Jedi isn’t Cannon” guy to the people at DC? Did you have to jump over any hurdles to implement them?
Honestly, I put the shirts in there as an internal joke, and assumed those would never make it into the final cut haha. Ultimately these guys were comedic to me because of how deep their toxic fandom ran, (particularly the one guy). And I don’t think he’s representative of all the Snyder Cut enthusiasts AT ALL. In truth, I had cold feet about keeping the shirts but I’m glad we did at the end of the day, and the Snyder Cut fans’ response has been outstanding. Such great sports!
Another fan asked a question in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as a fun one:
First question: Last month, Vulture asked 37 TV writers how they’d do a coronavirus episode of their show. How would you handle the topic on Harley?
Second question: if you were giving Harley Quinn a designation in the DC multiverse, what number Earth would it be?
I read that coronavirus article and those writers clearly had time to formulate their amazing answers. I wish I could come up with something on the spot, but I think Ivy would certainly have some controversial opinions on coronavirus. As to your second question, Earth-69. Kite Man told me so.
Character Death [Spoilers]
Why did they decide to kill off the Penguin?
Hello Justin and Patrick, just a couple of questions,
Why did you have to kill Penguin? He was my favorite character.:sob:
Will Batman become A Bat who laughs anytime soon? That would be cool too see.:grinning:
We knew Penguin was your favorite character, and we thought you were having too good of a time, and needed to be reminded that much of life is pain and suffering. There’s a faint ghost of writing on a white board in Burbank with the words “Ruin Reaganfan78’s day by killing Penguiin.”
In all seriousness, Penguin was the sad choice we had to make, because we wanted to make a big statement at the beginning of the season by having Harley kill off a big bad. Luck of the draw…
As to BWL, I think that might be something way down the road. Like waaaaaay down the road. There’s decades of DC lore we haven’t mined, so newer creations aren’t the top of our list. (I say that even though we have Sy Borgman in the show.)
Will we get more female villains?
I absolutely loved the chance that we got to see Catwoman being stone cold in this. Any plans to include more villains who are women in the show? Like Duela Dent (I’m literally any of her aliases/identities), or Engima? I think it would be amusing to have an evil dad/daughter dynamic to contrast with Barbs/Jim.
I thought the little bit with the fans in it was very amusing. Do you have any intent to put any other short bits of “broken fourth wall” content in the show or was that a one off?
I welcome any and all chances to do the sort of things you’re talking about in your post. Particularly in just giving more female characters (as antagonists to Harley) more screen time. And the fanboys were a bit of an experiment that literally came from feeling the need to introduce a Harley episode with no Harley in it, so that was a one-off for now. But we do have a later episode with Frank doing a recap, and a Frank monologue is a lot of fun.
Nightwing and Jason Todd
Lastly, fans asked if we will be seeing Nightwing and Jason Todd any time soon:
Super cool seeing you guys interact with us and answering questions. This is one of the things that makes this community so great!
Will we get a nightwing appearance?
Not this season, but I would love to have Dick on the show.
With the mention of Jason Todd during the latest episode is there a chance of seeing him on the show at some point? I think he would fit in well on this show.
I would love that. He won’t be in this season, but who knows down the road…
How have you been enjoying Harley Quinn so far?
A girl with too many fandoms to count.