Since the very premiere of Gotham, there has been a lot of speculation about which Batman villains would show up and when. Much of this speculation has been focused on Batman’s most popular foe, the Joker.
Gotham’s writers have teased that idea for a while, but speculation has mostly settled on the possibility of the currently deceased Jerome somehow returning as the Joker, or inspiring the real Joker. Another, less faithful idea is that Barbara Kean, Jim Gordon’s ex-fiancee and a former member of Jerome’s Maniax, could be a Gotham’s female version of the Joker.
But there’s another possibility. Rather than the Joker himself (or herself, as the case may be), could Barbara become the Joker’s love interest and sidekick Harley Quinn?
Erin Richards, the actress who plays Barbara on Gotham, addressed that possibility in an interview with CinemaBlend.
“There have been conversations,” Richards admits. “I think something major would have to happen to Barbara for her to fully become Harley Quinn. Because Harley Quinn is kind of...she doesn't, to me, have the motivation that Babs has. Harley Quinn seems to like destruction for destruction's sake, and that's wonderful, but I feel like Barbara has more of a plan. She's a little bit more intellectual in her approach toward climbing the ladder and taking over the underworld. And I think if she was to then morph into Harley Quinn, there would have to be something that happened that sort of stripped away that kind of scheming side of her so that she would just become, I guess, unhinged in the world. That, to me, is what Harley Quinn represents. That madness and mayhem that comes along with The Joker, because obviously, they're a team.”
Gotham fans may remember a time when Barbara wasn’t all that different from how Richards describes Harley Quinn, but Richards believes that time has passed.
“I think Barbara had her moment of madness and mayhem early on in Season 2 after the Ogre, and then she went to Arkham and she sort of lost herself a little bit and just wanted to be this dark being,” she explains. “And then after she fell out of the church window and went into the coma and came back out and remembered her attachment to Jim as sort of a loving attachment, and didn't really remember the murdering of her parents and that kind of stuff. So she's like another being now, and I think that being is not so close to the Harley Quinn character, even though she's still obviously a little crazy, but she now has more of a ruthless nature to her.”
Richards seems pretty convinced, but only the writers truly know what’s in store for Barbara Keen, and even then they can only see so far down the road. Fans will likely continue to speculate about the possibility of Barbara becoming Harley for a while longer.
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