DC has announced that there will be a Harley Quinn stand-alone movie made in the future. and after the initial excitement of seeing the kookiest comic book character get her own movie, the questions started to arise…like, “How are they going to pull that off?”
Because the truth is Harley Quinn is not an easy character to make a movie on. She’s mostly comic relief, add a dash of sex appeal, and she’s a great foil/supporting character to finish a movie script with but she’s not a deep enough character and she’s not been in comic books for that long. Harley is not even 25-years-old technically since she was created with “Batman: The Animated Series” in 1992.
If DC wants to make a movie that even somewhat resonates with the comic books/animated series, they’ll need to use something that’s been done and beyond being Joker’s counterpart, Harley hasn’t done much. However, Harley did have a series where DC basically took the movie “Thelma & Louise” and put it into the animated series where they paired her with Poison Ivy, Batman’s most dangerous female villain.
The episode was a complete hit. They didn’t even come up with a fancy nickname, the title was: “Harley & Ivy” and it featured the girls doing their own robberies etc. I think DC should embrace the idea of rebooting Poison Ivy. Ivy hasn’t been used in a movie since the disastrous “Batman and Robin” featuring a terrible script that had Uma Thurman playing the femme fatale.
It’s closing on 20 years since that debacle; I think Ivy deserves a new shot and DC should rename the project: “Harley & Ivy” It makes so much sense to reboot Ivy with this movie for all kinds of reasons.
First, the storyline is the ideal version because it doesn’t have to directly involve the Joker. If Jared Leto’s Joker has a major role in the Harley Quinn movie, I think it’ll become a Harley and Joker (or just the Joker) movie and defeats the idea of a movie about Harley. It’s the same way Iron Man in Civil War made Captain America 3 feel more like an Avengers 2.5 or even Iron Man vs. Captain America and not a movie specifically about the Captain.
But if the movie is about Harley AND Ivy, then the story gets bigger. It becomes about them finding each other, their effective chemistry to get away from the cops, and even numerous scenes of them robbing places. If you watch the animated series episode, you’d see the girls were more effective than Two-Face or Joker ever were at robbing banks and stores.
I can attest that many comic book fans will want to see Ivy again. The “Batman and Robin” movie shouldn’t count against her and shouldn’t count at all. People have spent close to two decades trying to forget that terribly bad movie. Poison Ivy isn’t just Batman’s most powerful female villain, she’s one of his deadliest villains overall. She is seductive and lethal with potential poisons and pheromone manipulators all over her, including her own lipstick.
While the Joker is crazy, she’s a zealot, an eco-terrorist. Ivy would exterminate an entire city in order to save a particular species of grass. She’s basically that friend who bugs you to recycle mixed up with red hair dye, a one-piece bathing suit covered with various flora that fits in the right places, a killing streak and then multiply it by about 100. They could write her giving most of the stolen money away to eco-survival causes in the movie if they wanted.
What makes the idea more compelling is Ivy is a classic Type A personality who is an intense and passionate (more like fanatic) botanist with a PhD. Her main crimes typically revolve around the preservation of the Earth (what makes her dangerous is she sees humans as expendable) and she’s definitely got a stick stuck somewhere (you can guess).
That kind of character is the perfect yin to Harley’s yang because Harley is more of a Type B personality who is unpredictable and all kinds of crazy. She is a take it easy kind of girl who lives on a whim which is not how scientists are taught to be. This has so much potential in the script alone for conversations about loosening up, enjoying life or on the flip side, caring about something bigger than yourself, environmentalism, how to avoid or dump abusive boyfriends (Joker). The girls could easily rub off on each other and Ivy can embrace her inner diva who loves jewelry. All the while, there are explosions happening every 10-15 minutes.
The script doesn’t have to be that simple either. Say that DC wants to put Leto in it. Then they have to make him an enemy. They can play up the genuine friendship the two women have because Ivy HATES the Joker just like any best friend would hate an abusive boyfriend. That in itself would give the movie exceptional depth. DC doesn’t even have to touch on the lesbian angle between the two women which has been strongly implied in the comics. Just a story of a woman overcoming domestic violence…while robbing banks along the way but who’s counting? Regardless of what they do, by making the Joker their enemy in a smaller role, the movie stays about the two girls and not Harley and the Joker.
Or it can be them vs. someone else etc. but the point is that this outline is a better solution to making a movie that features Harley outside of the role of Suicide Squad member or Joker’s wench and gives her a higher platform to be displayed on next to another woman rather than beneath a man which leads to my next point.
A major reason to do this story is because right now, the one thing that DC is crushing Marvel Studios with is its success with female characters. Marvel can be accused of sexism since they are just now trying to make a Black Widow movie (nothing official yet also) and they’ve pushed Captain Marvel back to 2019. However, DC has a Wonder Woman film set to be made and now the Harley Quinn movie.
Why not make it a trifecta and make it three major women characters? Get some young actress (Emma Stone maybe?) or even someone in her 30s (Maybe Bryce Dallas Howard?) and make an Ivy. Tap into the female crowds and gain fans there because yes, while Harley and Ivy are not the “ideal” women for our daughters and sisters to look up to, the point can still be made if DC decides to show Harley refusing to be the inferior to the Joker and if they show the botanist Ivy to be an independent woman who doesn’t need a man.
Marvel has faced criticisms whether it’s how they use Black Widow or Tony Stark wants to do “Prima Nocta” in Avengers 2 if he can lift Thor’s hammer. DC can avoid the same mistakes and continue to assert the same strong female characters they’ve created while at the same time, making a ton of money, because this movie is unique.
The movie can easily touch a massive audience. The comic nerds, the guys who like hot chicks, people who love great action or anti-heroes/antagonists running the show. That’s not all though. Anyone who loves Thelma & Louise (mostly women) can be a potential ticket buyer many of those people don’t watch superhero movies typically.
But they’ll definitely go because they have barhopping buddies the camaraderie of two girls out on the town will appeal to them. As long as DC adjusts it to where guys don’t see it as a chick flick and boom, you’ve got something that will appeal to several major audience groups.
Furthermore, DC has to start making money on their films. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice will probably finish under a billion in revenue and the studio was counting on it to rake in 1.5 billion in order to truly profit from their investment. I thought the movie, particularly Ben Affleck’s performance.
However, the main criticisms were against the portrayal of Luthor, the actually killing by Batman (the critics hated when Superman killed Zod too) and the long drawn-out complicated plot (I could follow it…) etc.
The point is the idea of Harley & Ivy is a moneymaker revolves around the fact that this is a simpler idea that isn’t a giant graphic novel. People will get the Thelma & Louise reference and there isn’t some hidden scheme hiding in the lurch.
A movie around Harley & Ivy will make money and will be successful if done correctly. The potential for profit is here. The chance to reboot one of the best Batman villains ever is there. All DC has to do is put the dots together like I have and hire a scriptwriter.