If it seems like Gotham‘s creator and stars have been teasing the debut of Harley Quinn for years, it’s because, well, they have. Showrunners Danny Cannon, . Erin Richards, whose Gotham character Barbara Keane was a frontrunner pick of many viewers to become the iconic character, teased Harley’s arrival in a number of interviews. And just last season, none other than young Bruce Wayne (aka star David Mazouz) stated outright that yes, Harley was on her way to Fox’s pre-Batman version of Gotham City.
It’s time to pump those brakes — or, rather slam on them completely and activate the emergency brake. While discussing tonight’s Season 4 premiere with CBR, showrunner John Stephens addressed the potential Harley Quinn arrival. His answer is definitive, and, for many fans, will likely come as a disappointment.
“It’s not going to happen,” Stephens told CBR point blank during an extensive interview about the series’ upcoming season. “Let’s put it out there. The discussions we’ve been having is – Look, we know Harley Quinn is never going to be on our show.”
While this may be news to many fans, Stephens is basically doubling-down on something he said at last summer’s Comic-Con International. “I had thought I had said and I might have not said it: We’ll see a Harley Quinn-esque character,” he told fans. “But we’re never going to see Harley Quinn. Sorry about that.” Of course, with so many other people involved in Gotham‘s production also having gone on record to tease if not outright confirm plans for Harley, it’s understandable why viewers might have chosen not to believe Stephens’ SDCC statements. That he reiterated this to CBR on the eve of Season 4’s premiere shows how serious he is, however, about the character remaining separate from Gotham‘s mythology.
Of course, while she may never be Harley in name, Barbara will continue to show that she’s a rather Harley-esque character in spirit. “[T]here are elements of that Harley Quinn personality that we have liked, that sense of fun and anarchy, that we said, ‘Well, we can actually have those qualities embodied in Barbara without actually having to do Harley herself,'” Stephens told CBR. “I think Erin Richards carried it off really well.”
Check back later today for CBR’s full interview with John Stephens, where we discuss more of Barbara Keane’s path ahead, the birth of Solomon Grundy and much more.
Returning Thursday, Sept. 21, on Fox, Gotham stars Ben McKenzie as James Gordon, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin, Cameron Bicondova as Selina Kyle, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean and Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth.
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