The internet (and by “the internet” I mean “this writer who is typing this right now”) lost its collective shit when Harley Quinn made her first non-cosplay appearance in live-action on the Arrow season 2 episode, “Suicide Squad.” It not only opened up a world of bat-possibilities for the show, but it gave us a tantalizing glimpse of a fan-favorite character on what was only just becoming a fan-favorite superhero TV series.
They even got the great Tara Strong to provide Harley’s voice (we only saw her from behind in another ARGUS cell). Surely, you don’t just drop a character like that into the world of Arrow if you don’t have big plans for her, right? Well, yes and no. “Yes” in that there were indeed plans for the character. “No” in that they won’t be followed up on.
We’ll let Willa “Speedy” Holland take it from here:
“Because we had the Suicide Squad and these things inside of it, ARGUS. We were going really heavily into that for a minute. And then, something must have come down from DC or some higher-up above that said ‘No, you must cease and desist because we’re going to make it into a movie and we can’t have anyone spoil that idea.’ We did get to see that little pigtail and the ARGUS uniform and the little treat of a Harley Quinn, and then it just got ripped away. If we could actually have Harley Quinn on the show, that would be amazing, but it’s never gonna happen.”
Ah, those cagey DC execs. Always spoiling everyone’s fun. At the time, the Suicide Squad movie had a screenplay written, but was otherwise consigned to development hell, and certainly wasn’t on any kind of official release schedule. I suspect that once that movie started moving forward (and it ultimately landed Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn), that’s why DC and Warner Bros. pulled the plug.
It probably also explains two of Arrow season 3’s more head-scratching moves. The introduction of the endlessly irritating Cupid character and her ultimate integration into the show’s Suicide Squad was probably a way to fill the “crazy female” void left by Harley Quinn. It also might account for why they killed off Michael Rowe’s Deadshot in another one of the season’s poorer episodes.
Ah, well. We can dream of what could have been. At least until Arrow season 4 premieres in October.
Source: Green Arrow TV