Warner Bros. Animation King Bruce Timm Weighs in on Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn

Created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm for Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn has taken on a unique place in fandom through the years. We’re finally getting to see her brought to life for live-action thanks to Suicide Squad, but her look is certainly a far cry from her original Harlequin costume. Timm has some thoughts on her latest portrayal.

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Speaking with press about his upcoming web series Justice League: Gods and Monsters (which sees a return of the classic Timm animation style) for Machinima, Timm was asked to weigh in on the recent reveal of Harley Quinn from the Suicide Squad cast photo. He gave this reaction to Polygon:

“It’s interesting,” Timm answered immediately. “It’s weird. Myself — being somebody who’s taken characters that pre-exist and putting my own spin on them in my own little universe — I’m very aware of how when a character that I necessarily created shows up in other media that they have to adapt it and do different things with it than I would do. So I’m very open to it to see what they’re going to do. I’m actually really excited. I just today, just before the show started, saw the first image of Harley Quinn from the Suicide Squad movie, and I thought ‘Woah. She looks actually pretty cute!’ I was actually kind of worried I thought ‘Oh, she’s going to look really, really bizarre and skanky’ but nah, she’s not too bad. So I’m often mistaken.”

Your mileage may vary, of course, but it’s interesting to see Timm’s take. He also said this to io9: “I was frankly a little nervous about what Harley would look like, but I thought she looked really cool. So I’m optimistic, we see.” He also went on to talk a bit about her evolution and the current solo comic at DC from Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti:

It’s funny, because she started off as just like a one joke idea and she’s gained all these different dimensions from all the stories we did, and the stuff that happens in the comics. I think bottom line the most important thing about her is that she’s funny. One way or the other regardless of what her backstory is, or whether she’s in an abusive relationship with the Joker, or if she’s off on her own, or hanging out with Poison Ivy, or whether she’s a villain or a hero. I think bottomline her stories always have to be fun, if not flat out hilarious (but that would be even better). That’s one of the things I like about the current comic. They understand that, they’re not treating her as another angsty bizarre superhero type character. She’s really weird and funny and kind of chaotic.

That’s pretty much in line with what I said in response to the first photo, it really is all going to depend on her personality. Still keeping my fingers crossed…

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Jill Pantozzi
Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” (TheNerdyBird.com). She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."