Arrow Star Comments On Harley Quinn, Raising Questions About DC’s Long Term Plan

Colin Salmon, Susanna Thompson, Willa Holland and Stephen Amell in Arrow

Well now, there seems to be some confusion. Relatively speaking, it was not too long ago that DC began launching a broader range of TV shows while announcing their film release slate at the same time. Amid accusations of trying to emulate the success of Marvel, DC were heard to state that they would not be creating a cohesive universe between TV and film – as Marvel have – because it would be too restrictive in terms of story and character. Rather, the two would remain separate, so as to avoid the kind of criticism and logistical problems posed by Agents Of SHIELD with regard to the bigger, blockbuster movies, such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

However, we now have some comments from Arrow actress Willa Holland (who plays Thea Queen) that cast doubt on the understanding of DC’s long term plan – and it all revolves around the character of Harley Quinn.

“We had big plans for Harley. But, I guess something came down from DC execs that told us to shut it down. I mean we had that tease with the pigtails and the ARGUS outfit but, we’ll never see it. We would love to have Harley in Arrow, but it will never happen.”

The ‘tease’ to which Holland refers occurred in episode 16 of season 2, which also featured the character of Amanda Waller and an introduction to the concept of Suicide Squad. With regard to Harley Quinn, she is simply seen through a cell door, from behind, with a voice heard – but there is no mistaking who it is. Willa Holland would have us believe that this was supposed to turn into a much bigger storyline, but instead it came to nought on the small screen, and we have Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad movie next year.


The question is, did DC shut down a Harley Quinn story arc in Arrow in deference to the highly anticipated movie being made? If so, that seems to contradict the idea of not allowing their film properties to interfere with their television shows. To be clear, we currently have speculation that the character of Green Lantern may be heading for Arrow, while a Green Lantern movie is planned, and we already have a The Flash TV show, while a movie of the same character is planned with a different actor already cast.

With a character as iconic and popular as Harley Quinn, it seems strange that anyone would want to prevent her depiction onscreen – large or small. A number of theories have begun to circulate, including the fact that her inclusion in Arrow might be considered to be the opening of an altogether different can of worms – given her close association with the characters of The Joker and Batman. Is the issue more of a conflict of interests with the Gotham TV show than with the Suicide Squad film? Perhaps. For now, though, we can only wait and watch.