Maybe my prediction WAAAAY back on Jan. 11, 2006 is true: The Joker's girlfriend, Harley Quinn, might be in this summer's surefire blockbuster, "The Dark Knight."
At least rdfmanagement.com is saying British actress Sarah Jayne Dunn, 26, has snagged the part. Just to be difficult, uk.castingcallpro.com lists the cute 5'7" blond actress as crime boss "Maroni's mistress." Imdb.com puts Dunn in the complete TDK cast listing, but doesn't provide her character's name.
(Keep in mind the Internet Movie Database did the same thing with Cillian Murphy until he was listed as The Scarecrow just recently. For months, the TDK cast list had a "rumored" note attached to Murphy's name and the role.)
Of course, all this could mean that Dunn's character — for the purposes of TDK — isn't a psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel, but rather a Quinzel who falls for "Mr. J" during the Gotham City gang war while hanging on Maroni's arm.
Knowing director Christopher Nolan's gift for tying in storylines and plot twists, Quinzel/Quinn could be a police informant who actually is an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist! (All this is pure, unadulterated speculation on my part.)
The storyline scenario I proposed in my April 19 comic book column looked quite a bit different: I had said Quinzel might fall in love with the Joker while doing a case study for Gotham District Attorney Harvey Dent, Lt. Jim Gordon and Batman, who are attempting to capture him.
In a Feb. 25, 2007 Batman-on-film.com op-ed, I also suggested: Dent and Gordon use Quinzel as an expert while hunting for The Joker. "Mr. J" meets the psychiatrist after being captured in a creepy scene at the end of TDK, with lots of "Silence of the Lambs"-like sexual tension and foreshadowing.
My next proposed installment might be problematic, given Heath Ledger's Jan. 22 death from an accidental overdose: Quinzel's story picks up in the third film where she is evaluating The Joker's mental state to see if he's fit to stand trial. The villain seduces her, making the enamored psychiatrist believe he is being unjustifiably imprisoned, and she starts her life of crime. This would be a huge subplot to the theme of "good people going bad" surrounding Dent, now Two-Face.
BUT, The Joker could appear (recast) in a cameo in the shadows of Arkham Asylum, with someone doing a voice-over impersonation of Ledger's Joker voice. I've heard lately that The Joker might have only had a cameo in the TDK sequel anyway, regardless of Ledger's untimely death.
Nolan has said that Harley Quinn being in TDK was "all just a rumor" (Wizard #196 - February 2008).
BOF's Webmaster Jett — who hasn't led me astray yet — expects The Joker's girlfriend to "be nothing more than a cameo -- perhaps at Arkham as Dr. Harleen Quinn?" if the Dunn-as-Harley Quinn news is even true. He also had this to say when the "news" broke: Last year, I was told directly by several members of the TDK crew and/or cast … that Harley Quinn was NOT in the film. However, evidence of the contrary has surfaced.
Let's face it: Nolan isn't afraid to borrow from "Batman: The Animated Series" — where Quinn first appeared before being introduced into official comic book continuity seven years later. The director has cast Monique Curnen as "Det. Ramirez," eerily similar to Officer Renee Montoya. That character premiered in the Batman comics in the early 1990s just prior to her animation incarnation.
Another fun factor to consider is what Warner Bros. planned before Nolan started his Batman film franchise with "Batman Begins." In the late 1990s, producers planned to have The Scarecrow and — wait for it — Harley Quinn (!) be the villains in the follow-up to the embarrassingly atrocious "Batman & Robin." That plan (thankfully) got scrapped in favor of Nolan's relaunch. And guess who worked for Ra's al Ghul to spread terror in Gotham City in "Begins"? The Scarecrow!
Harley Quinn in TDK or its sequel?! I'd say history is on my side! Now, tell me what your thoughts, opinions and feelings are …