However, had the DC Comics cinematic universe followed a different path, Harley Quinn could have had her movie debut far earlier – in a follow-up to 1997’s Batman & Robin that would have also seen George Clooney donning Batman’s cape and cowl for a second time.
Batman Unchained would have pitted the heroes against Harley Quinn, and among the actresses considered for the role was Courtney Love. Mark Protosevich recalled to The Hollywood Reporter the preliminary casting talks that happened before the project was scrapped due to backlash against Batman & Robin.
“I think [Love] had heard about the possibility of Harley Quinn being in the new Batman and was thinking she would be good for it,” he said. “But we didn’t really talk about that. We talked about a lot of other things. It was certainly one of the better lunches I’ve ever had in my career in show business.”
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The character, seen above as she looked when she first appeared in Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, ultimately transitioned into the mainstream comics and has since become one of the most popular female characters in comics.
The character was inspired by a scene in Days of Our Lives in which actress Arleen Sorkin dressed in a jester costume. Sorkin voiced the character on the original cartoon series and continued to do so through 2009.