Kaley Cuoco has had an influence on Harley Quinn’s role in the DC Universe and she hasn’t even appeared on screen as the character. But the work she’s doing as the voice of the character on the series Harley Quinn could be part of how DC takes Margot Robbie’s onscreen persona and tone going forward. That’s because a new Robbie-led solo Harley Quinn movie would reportedly draw quite a bit of influence from the animated series.
Kaley Cuoco voices the titular star in the animated Harley Quinn on the DC Universe streaming platform. The cartoon definitely takes an R-rated approach, with Harley dropping lines that are both pretty graphic in nature but also incredibly realistic when you consider the schizophrenic and crass nature of the character. As much as audiences have enjoyed Margot Robbie’s take on the character, Kaley Cuoco’s version of Harley Quinn also has its ardent fans.
Making her debut in Suicide Squad in a scene-stealing performance, Margot Robbie was easily the highlight of a rather flawed film. She reprised the role in Birds of Prey which did really well with critics, receiving a 78% on the Tomatometer, but tanked at the box office earning $200 million against a $100 million budget. The main critique was that while Robbie’s Quinn is awesome onscreen, the material she’s working with didn’t totally match the character. Drawing from Kaley Cuoco’s performance could help cure that.
In Kaley Cuoco’s Harley Quinn, the character gets an expletive-laden and sexually-freer makeover. It follows Harley as she navigates her relationship with the Joker (Alan Tudyk, who also voices a ton of other characters) while getting into all kinds of craziness with her best friend Poison Ivy (voiced by the great Lake Bell). It’s entering its third season and has earned overwhelming critical praise for its tone, storytelling, and humor. Cuoco specifically has received quite a bit of praise for her voice work of the character.
While this latest Harley Quinn rumor is around a solo movie, there has also been some talk of the character getting her own live-action show, with Margot Robbie in the lead. That would be part of HBO Max’s continued expansion of the DC Universe. If the new project was in this form, drawing from Kaley Cuoco’s influence, then hitting it with the explicit tag wouldn’t be much of a stretch at all. The platform is more than set up to handle the off-colored humor, sexual innuendo, and rougher language of the cartoon. HBO Max already has Zack Snyder’s supposedly R-rated Justice League coming next year, while the upcoming Peacemaker series from James Gunn will certainly match the tone of The Suicide Squad.
For now, we will next get to see Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn in The Suicide Squad which is set to hit screens in August of 2021. Meanwhile, Kaley Cuoco’s Harley Quinn will be back for a third season exclusively on HBO Max later this year. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how DC tries to find a middle ground between Kaley Cuoco and Margot Robbie’s different approaches to the Harley Quinn character.