Why Arrow Won't Use Harley Quinn In Any More Episodes

The concept of fully connected universes is a hotly debated subject among comic book fans, with some praising Marvel’s oneness and bashing DC’s split-up worlds, and vice versa. While I’m personally right down the middle, I can’t help but feel a little put off by the way DC’s big screen ventures slap limitations on its TV shows, and it sounds like Arrow was going to give its fans a lot more of the gloriously fiendish Harley Quinn if it wasn’t for the upcoming Warner Bros. actioner Suicide Squad. How can too much Harley Quinn be a bad thing?

We already had clues that Harley was going to get shut out of Arrow after her oh-so-brief cameo in Season 2, thanks to executive producer Marc Guggenheim, but many of us were holding out hope that her fate would be similar to The Flash, who will exist as both a TV and movie hero. Alas, Arrow’s Willa Holland has proven our dreams will remain crushed, as she confirmed Harley’s absence at MCM London Comic Con recently.

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 anybody spoil that idea.’ We did get to see that little pigtail and the ARGUS uniform and the little treat of Harley Quinn, and it just got ripped away. So if we could actually have Harley Quinn on the show, that would be amazing. But it’s never going to happen.

That’s a huge bummer, regardless of if it was expected or not. Cassidy Alexa played the actual pigtailed girl in the episode, while voice actress Tara Strong provided the voice. It’s unclear how that would have all worked out had Harley returned for a full episodic arc for Season 4 (or more), but I guess it doesn’t matter now.

This isn’t the first time David Ayer’s Suicide Squad put the kibosh on an Arrow character, either. (Spoilers for Arrow coming.) Michael Rowe’s Floyd “Deadshot” Lawton was seemingly being built up for something sizeable before he blew up on a rooftop in “Suicidal Tendencies.” Because this is a comic book show, where all manner of unbelievable things can happen, he was only presumed dead at that point, but it was later confirmed that Will Smith’s Deadshot in the feature meant that any small screen version was kaput.

It has to be frustrating from a creative standpoint to map out ideas for characters, only to have your parent company strip them away for someone else to use. Not even Harley Quinn is that cruel.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.