WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Matt Reeves’ The Batman.
We all know her. We all love her. Harley Quinn made her first appearance in the Batman universe in 1992, on the mid-’90s TV show Batman: The Animated Series. In an episode titled “Joker’s Favor,” Harley was introduced as the Joker’s enthusiastic sidekick. When audiences adored her, Harley Quinn became a full-fledged Batman supervillain whose popularity spawned several comic book series, graphic novels, a standalone television show, and a handful of live-action appearances.
Following the commercial success of Matt Reeves’ The Batman during its opening weekend, Batfans have taken to Reddit to discuss potential fan-casts for Harley Quinn to join Reeves’ developing Batverse.
Harley Quinn made her live-action debut in James Gunn’s Suicide Squad (2016) with Margot Robbie embodying the Clown Princess of Crime. She starred alongside Jared Leto’s Joker, ditching her classic red and black Harlequinade bodysuit for an updated ensemble of glittery short-shorts and a tie-dyed crop top. Five years later, Margot has portrayed Harley Quinn three times across the DC Extended Universe; Suicide Squad (2016), Birds of Prey (2020), and The Suicide Squad (2021).
Now, Redditors and Batman aficionados are searching for Reeves’ Harley Quinn, hoping to find someone as gifted as Robbie to take up the mantle in a parallel DC universe. Here are the nominees that Reddit has collectively deemed worthy to become the next Harleen Quinzel.
1. Dove Cameron
Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie (2013-2017) saw Dove Cameron play a dual role as Liv and Maddie Rooney and gain a solid reputation as a talented young actress. She went on to portray lead character Mal in Disney’s Descendants franchise and has since attached herself to many animated Marvel projects, particularly the Marvel Rising short series on Disney XD. In 2022, Cameron was announced to star as Bubbles in CW’s live-action television series based on The Powerpuff Girls.
Reddit user u/Kraacatoa pointed out Dove Cameron as a prime candidate to join Matt Reeves’ Batverse. Several image collages and edits on sites like Pinterest and Tumblr have depicted Cameron as Harley Quinn, donning the tinted blonde hair and signature cotton-candy-colored attire. Visually, Cameron looks the part, but some opposing comments have argued that the Disney star may be too young to form convincing and age-appropriate chemistry with Barry Keoghan.
2. Chloë Grace Moretz
Another prosperous child actor, Chloë Grace Moretz appeared in early roles as Chelsea Lutz in The Amityville Horror (2005), Rachel Hansen in 500 Days of Summer (2009) and Angie Steadman in Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010). Following the live-action adaptation of Jeff Kinney’s 2007 novel, Moretz landed her breakthrough role as Hit-Girl in Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass (2010). She reprised her role as Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl in the 2013 sequel Kick-Ass 2. From then on, Moretz became a familiar face, starring in The 5th Wave (2016), Greta (2018), and providing the voice of Wednesday Addams in the 2019 computer-animated remake of The Addams Family.
Yet again, u/Kraacatoa made a thought-provoking suggestion in Chloë Grace Moretz, whom Pinterest has edited as the loveable sidekick; some have patterned her appearance after Margot Robbie’s portrayal, whereas others have stayed loyal to the source material and incorporated the jester jumpsuit into Moretz’s wardrobe. At just 25-years-old, Moretz has the mid-20s enthusiasm, the distinctive look and the formidable portfolio to boot.
3. Samara Weaving
The Australian serial drama Out of the Blue (2008) gave Samara Weaving her first-ever on-screen role as Kirsten Mulroney. However, Weaving rose to prominence with her portrayal of Indi Walker in the 1988 soap opera Home and Away. After leaving Australia, Weaving pursued roles in the United States, landing the part of Heather in Ash vs Evil Dead (2015) which led to more promising advancements when she was cast as Melanie Cross in Mayhem (2017) and “Bee” in The Babysitter (2017). Ever since, Weaving has consistently kept herself within the public domain, especially with her most recent critically-appraised role as Grace LeDomas in Ready or Not (2019).
On Reddit, u/Tg11T initially posted a comprehensive fancast that featured favorable choices for the live-action counterparts of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Among those picks, Samara Weaving stood out as a strong contender for the role of Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn. Interestingly, when fellow Redditors flocked to the comments, the responses seemed to be majorly in favor. “Samara is not a bad shout for Harley,” u/mrEnigma86 wrote. Another user chimed in, saying “Harley Quinn makes sense.” From extensive research, Weaving seems to be the undisputed favorite — and she has the acting chops to back it up.
4. Kaitlin Olson
As more of an out-the-box pick compared to the others, Kaitlin Olson has been thrown into the fray, and Reddit users are going nuts for it. As the oldest among the candidates, Olson has an imposing resume of memorable roles. Audiences may recognize Olson from her role as Deandra “Sweet Dee” Reynolds on the longest-running FX comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005). As part of her filmography, Olson has appeared in Leap Year (2010), The Heat (2013), Vacation (2015), Finding Dory (2016) and Arizona (2018).
In a surprise entry, u/Conscious-Proof-8309 posted a crazy-eyed screenshot of Kaitlin Olson and captioned it, “Tell me I’m wrong: Kaitlin Olson is the best option there is for the role of Harley Quinn.” With over 4000 upvotes, the proof presents itself that Batfans wholeheartedly agree. The original author received several weigh-ins from eager fanatics; one comment read, “Ya know, now that I think about it, she does have a cackle that’s high-pitched in the show, I bet she could pull off a Harley Quinn laugh and voice.” Another said, “I can’t think of another actress that simultaneously performs full-body comedic physicality and portrays the entire range of emotions more brilliantly than Kaitlin Olson.”
5. Anya Taylor-Joy
Anya Taylor-Joy has become a household name for recent outings as Beth Harmon in Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit and Magik in Marvel’s The New Mutants, but even before then, Taylor-Joy has flown under the radar for quite some time. She made her film debut with the lead role of Thomasin in the horror film The Witch (2015), which is still considered an untouchable cult classic even seven years later. From there, she went on to star alongside James McAvoy in Split (2016) and reprised her role as Casey Cooke in Glass (2019), the final installment in M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable trilogy. In 2022, Taylor-Joy is set to voice Princess Peach in the upcoming Mario film.
From her involvement in Marvel, particularly the characteristics surrounding her portrayal of Illyana Rasputin/Magik, Batfans have eyed Anya Taylor-Joy for a secure spot in their fancast lists. Recently, rumors surfaced that Taylor-Joy would officially join Reeves’ Batverse as Harley Quinn, but these have yet to be proven. Reddit user u/MattGreg28 uploaded a side-by-side comparison, promoting Taylor-Joy as a must-have cast member in “a DC universe outside of the DCEU.” Again, Taylor-Joy seemed to be a worthy competitor as comments approved the choice. One Reddit user said, “She has the crazy eyes,” and another chimed in with “I can see it.”
It was revealed in the final act of Reeves’ Batman that Barry Keoghan — who had long been rumored to appear as Batman’s archnemesis — was in fact involved as the Joker. If Reeves were to cast Harley Quinn to join the Clown Prince of Crime, he would need to consider suitability, particularly age (as significant to the timeline) and on-screen chemistry with Keoghan, which is crucial. However, until further news breaks, all we can do is speculate.
The Batman is currently showing in theaters worldwide.