A Joker & Harley Quinn movie could work, but it would have to be done with a lot of care because it’s basically an abusive relationship. The Joker abuses Harley, she loves him anyway, and excuses his bad behavior because she loves him. It’s toxic, which makes it fascinating, but you have to handle it in the right way. We’ve already seen it botched once in Suicide Squad and now the spinoff featuring the deranged supervillains doesn’t sound like it’s going much better.
Speaking to Metro, screenwriter Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy. Stupid. Love.) say “We had so much fun, I don’t know if we have had more fun writing a script in our career,” adding: “It was sort of like, we wrote ‘Bad Santa’ a couple of years ago, and it was that sensibility mixed with our ‘This Is Us’ sensibility. We kind of meshed them together. “We were doing a relationship movie but with the sensibility of a ‘Bad Santa,’ f***ed up, mentally deranged people. It was a lot of fun.”
Ficarra also revealed that they want to start the movie off with kidnapping Dr. Phil, “Because her and the Joker are having problems with their relationship.” Edgy stuff.
That being said, the writers have no idea where the film will land in the current DC queue. The studio currently has release dates for Aquaman, Shazam!, and Wonder Woman 1984, and they’re in pre-production on Birds of Prey and Joker. But beyond that, it remains to be seen where the studio will go next, although it seems like they’re kind of all over the place at the moment as they try to see what will work now that their extended superhero universe is kind of kaput.
It remains to be seen if this Joker & Harley Quinn movie will ever happen, but if it does, this Ficarra/Requa direction doesn’t sound like the way to go. I don’t really need a twisted version of This Is Us done in the vein of Bad Santa. What I need is someone to manage the difficult balance of following a toxic relationship without mining it for cheap entertainment. It can be done, but it will be far more difficult than the DC movies have attempted to this point.