If you’re a devoted fan of Gotham, then you may remember the strange ballad that played out a few years back when we all assumed it was a certainty that Erin Richards’ character of Barbara Kean would become the Batman prequel series’ version of Harley Quinn. Heck, various members of the cast and crew had been dropping teasers for just that leading into season 3’s finale.
Well, after the spring of 2017 passed, it became apparent the transition wasn’t coming to fruition, with the producers even backpedaling by saying there’d never been any plans to bring in the Clown Princess of Crime. To me, it just seemed like WB’s motion picture division told them “hands off,” just as they did with the Joker.
Funny enough, the truth came out when executive producer John Stephens spoke with Bam Smack Pow at New York Comic Con by first revealing that Barbara nearly became Magpie, a character who’ll seemingly get a proper introduction of her own in season 5:
“I think we were briefly thinking of turning her, for some reason I don’t know why…now it seems like a terrible idea..into Magpie. So we’re not going to do that. We’re just gonna have Magpie.”
Soon after, Stephens said something that gave us a sense of vindication:
“There was a brief period where we said ‘is there a way to turn her into Harley Quinn’ but we didn’t do that either.”
I’m assuming that “brief period” was indeed during season 3, but Harley herself unfortunately remains off limits. Still, the series will be introducing the not-Harley to its not-Joker, Jeremiah Valeska, who’ll reportedly be played by Francesca Root-Dodson. Hey, if she paints her face white, wears colorful clothing and gets around on a pair of roller skates, we know the idea the writers are going for.
Gotham returns for its fifth season sometime in early 2019 on Fox.