Harley Quinn Showrunners Reveal Season 3's 'Release The Ayer Cut' Easter Egg And How They Almost Used Zack Snyder

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Harley Quinn’s introduction in Batman: The Animated Series, and these days the character isn’t lacking in opportunities for opportunities to shine in the comics and other media, which includes Margot Robbie playing her in the DC Extended Universe and Lady Gaga reportedly being lined up for the role in the Joker sequel. Looking to the animated realm, Harley Quinn is also leading her own animated series, which started out on what was once DC Universe and is now available to HBO Max subscribers. Harley Quinn Season 3 is less than a week away from premiering, and the showrunners revealed to CinemaBlend that not only does this season have a Release the Ayer Cut Easter egg, but there was talk about including DCEU director Zack Snyder.

Let’s start with that first item: much like the campaign that lead to the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, there have been efforts over the years to see David Ayer’s original cut of Suicide Squad released to the public, as the theatrical version that came out in 2016 was vastly different from what the filmmaker originally had in mind. The Release the Ayer Cut movement is still chugging along, and while speaking with CinemaBlend’s own Hannah Saulic at San Diego Comic-Con, Patrick Schumacker, who was with fellow Harley Quinn showrunner Justin Halpern, shared that in the Harley Quinn universe, it appears as though Diedrich Bader’s Batman as seen this version of Suicide Squad. In Schumacker’s words:

There’s a scene in the Batcave where on the Batcomputer, we have the sort of traditional desktop with folders, and it’s kind of a blink-and-you-miss-it thing, but if you do pause, there’s some interesting stuff on that setup, Batman might have a copy of the Ayer Cut.

Now what exactly did Batman have to do to get a copy of the Ayer Cut? Did he break into a safely-guarded facility to secure the file? Did he obtain it from one of his enemies? Did David Ayer simply give it to the Caped Crusader as a gift? Whatever the case, this is a fun Easter egg that Harley Quinn fans should keep their eyes peeled to catch. On the subject of the Ayer Cut though, Justin Halpern also took the time to remind people who continually ask him on Twitter to, well, release the Ayer Cut that he has no power to make that happen, although he and Patrick Schumacker would certainly like to see that version of Suicide Squad

Moving to Zack Snyder (who, along with his version of Justice League, also helmed Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), he was brought up in response to James Gunn’s presence in Harley Quinn Season 3. When Hannah Saulic inquired why Snyder wasn’t thrown into the mix instead, Patrick Schumacker responded:

His name was bandied about in the room for sure, but we knew James was a fan of the show. We thought it would be funny, given James’ body of work, to portray him in this show as someone trying to go a little more, I don’t know, awards cinema-kind of thing. He’s pivoting a bit. I DM’ed him one day knowing that he’d been touting our show on Twitter. Very kind of him, he’s got a lot of followers. And I was like, ‘Hey, are you interested in playing yourself? Here’s the deal, this is the movie you’d be directing.’ It shocked me, within 15 minutes, he was like, ‘Yeah, I’m in! Here’s my rep’s info.’ And then we recorded for like an hour with him. He was up in Vancouver shooting Peacemaker. I got to direct him, which was crazy. It was super fun.

So presumably Zack Snyder would have filled the same role that James Gunn will in Harley Quinn Season 3, meaning the filmmaker also behind 300 and Army of the Dead would also be gunning for more awards recognition in this DC universe. However, with Gunn having shared on social media how much he likes Harley Quinn, Patrick Schumacker and Justin Halpern decided to bring him into the fold instead. Gunn is no stranger to the world of DC, as he delivered The Suicide Squad and the spinoff series Peacemaker, and he has more DC projects coming down the pipeline.

Harley Quinn Season 3 premieres July 28 on HBO Max, and among the other things fan can look forward to in this upcoming batch of episodes is What We Do in the Shadows’ Harvey Guillén voicing Nightwing. CinemaBlend will continue passing along more big news coming out of Comic-Con, so stay tuned!

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.