‘Harley Quinn’ DC FanDome Q&A Panel

With two fabulous seasons under her murderous wooden cudgel, Harley Quinn (DC Universe/HBO Max) seems like the right move for her third season to naturally come to, well, bat at the new home plate of HBO Max. The thing is, at this past weekend’s online DC Fandome event, nothing was explicitly guaranteeing we would see a tertiary go at our favorite melange of miscreants. However, the panel itself hosted by the staff writer at The Ringer, Shea Serrano, was a celebration of what had been accomplished thus far and replete with laughs.

In attendance was Kaley Cuoco (Harley Quinn), Lake Bell (Poison Ivy), Ron Funches (King Shark), Alan Tudyk (Clayface/Joker), Matt Oberg (Kite Man), Jennifer Coyle (Supervising Producer), Justin Halpern (Creator/E.P.), Dean Lorey (Creator/E.P.) and Patrick Shumacker (Creator/E.P.)

The shindig was kicked off with a series of revelations from the cast.

  • Kaley Cuoco got involved with the show when she first started her production company. When the first script landed on her desk, she thought it was so funny, she thought it could be live-action. Meeting with the developers, she was told their vision of it and she was on board.
  • When Lake Bell first caught wind of the project, she was super excited. Getting involved with VO work was a huge plus to her and very liberating, being able to swear and bring her takes to the table.
  • Ron Funches worked on Powerless with Patrick, Dean, and Alan. Being a DC show sans superheroes and not meeting the fans’ approval, they decided to take on superheroes and wanted Ron to be King Shark and let him be himself.
  • Matt Oberg knew Justin through a parenting class and when asked to be on board, he gave it his performance from 30 Rock, which wasn’t too far a stretch from his regular voice.
  • Alan Tudyk got the call from the creators to play Clayface, and to be an actor playing an actor was exciting for him. They also informed him they were casting for the Joker and Alan attempted, ultimately winning the dual roles.
  • Kaley prefers to record alone mainly due to the fact that the actors are way too damned funny for her to do her job.

 

We then hit a series of fan submitted questions, as this may become the modus operandi of Comic Cons to come, as starting with late July’s San Diego Comic-Con.

  • If Ivy’s not the best for Kite Man, we learn from Lake Bell that it’s not as simple for simply another person. Her heart is in twain. Matt Oberg thinks that Kite Man would be open to anything, as I’ve motioned before.
  • The way they approach reality and absurdity going into the series, Jennifer Coyle simply tries to capture the records of the actors and honor the manic energy and go from there furthering it.
  • Kaley loves reading for Harley because she can be as crazy as she wants in the booth and is genuinely happy and shocked that she gets to say what she does.
  • Alan loves playing the Joker, especially swearing as him, which seems innate to the character. Outside of the language used, the fights harken back to some of the shows Alan used to watch as a kid.
  • As far as how many people truly connect with the relationship between Harley and Ivy, Lake finds it interesting because the natural falling in love has to happen virtually, in separate booths. In fact, nobody works together, so that’s a testament not only to their acting brilliance but also to how naturally the editing flows.
  • In terms of how Bane is portrayed, Dean states they simply wanted to do a play-off of Tom Hardy’s Bane.
  • In terms of a third season, Jennifer Coyle hopes they’ll be coming back for one, but they’re not sure if, including Punchline, such a new character is right for it. Justin wants to simply focus more on the new dynamics between Harley and Ivy because they’ve built two seasons building up to that point.

As for outtakes or things we may never get to see, it seems as though there aren’t as many as one thinks since the scripts are so taut and funny. That being said, both Kaley and Lake definitely have unbridled acting chemistry that goes beyond the booth. Ron really digs the art style, since it’s reminiscent of Batman: The Animated Series. Matt loves getting a catchphrase (hell yeah!) and Alan loved in the second season the fact that at the Resort Themyscira that both Ivy and Harley slept together not once but twice and their reaction to slipping up. Jennifer thinks it a rarified chance to be able to read through a script and laugh out loud even before hearing the actors laugh out loud during their takes. Dean says he’s never had a show where every department influences every other department as much as on Harley Quinn. That the writers hear the words that inspire the performers and that in turn inspires the writers, almost a creative ouroboros. Patrick’s favorite scene in the whole show is when Harley is in the legion of doom war room because it’s a proxy for the writer’s room and how it’s all about pitching ideas. Dean loves the scenes that lead to emotional pay dirt like the scene in Bane’s pit where Harley and Ivy have this monologue before Harls sacrifices her freedom for Ivy’s… temporarily, as Ivy comes back for her bestie.

Now that is love built up to after a good and slow burn. It’s also why we love, nay, adore the series. It will be wonderful seeing Harley and the one she unrelentingly held out explore this newfound thing they have together in another raucous, violent, and fun go around.

However, that seems in limbo at the moment. As per The Hollywood Reporter, “It is currently awaiting word on its future, though sources say renewal negotiations hinge on a new budget for the series.”

Hey, I say if Doom Patrol (DCU/HBO Max) had migrated to Max with a third season renewal, Harley and her crew should most assuredly get another swing!

 

UPDATE: We got a third season! As per THR, sources say the renewal on Thursday “followed a round of negotiations that hinged on a new budget for the series. That process had been stalled by the major executive shake-up at the streamer that saw senior leaders Bob Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly pushed out and oversight of the platform given to HBO’s Casey Bloys.”

MAZEL TOV!!!

About Robert Kijowski

Robert Kijowski
Robert J. Kijowski is a screenwriter who enjoys a good chuckle and an even better weep when indulging in art both good and even better bad. He enjoys the company of strangers in a theatre but adores the camaraderie of friends watching Netflix. He also loves to talk- a lot. This can be read through his recaps and reviews on the Workprint or heard through his weekly movie podcast, After the Credits. His presence can be felt through Facebook, Spotify or Ouija. Don’t use the latter though- he almost always ghosts people.

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