DC writers boast Harley Quinn and Joker script mixes Bad Santa with This is Us

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Jan 17, 2020, 1:51 PM EST (Updated)

Do we want a dark, slapstick take on Harley Quinn and the Joker? After hearing the latest on the project from writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, that sounds like where the not-yet in-development movie could be heading.

Ficarra and Requa, who co-wrote Bad Santa and now serve as executive producers on NBC’s drama This Is Us, invoked both titles in a recent Metro interview, where they confessed to mining Harely Quinn and the Joker's mutually exploitative love story for a high-impact form of dark humor.

How high-impact? Well, this is a relationship that comes with a freight train full of baggage, so who better to help them work through it, Ficarra reasoned, than Dr. Phil McGraw, TV’s relationship know-it-all?

“It is great,” Ficarra told Metro. “The whole thing starts with Harley kidnapping Dr. Phil. Played by Dr. Phil, hopefully. Because her and the Joker are having problems with their relationship.”

The Joker and Harley Quinn are two characters who’ve never really done subtlety, so kicking off a tortured lovefest flick by staging a celebrity guru’s kidnapping at least plays right into their obvious tendencies.

Ficarra added that he and Requa enjoyed finding the funny in the overstimulated space that separates the two characters, referencing both the easy, in-your-face laughs of Bad Santa and the more reflective, inward-looking drama of This Is Us as inspirations during the scripting process.

“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,” he said. “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.”

In keeping with what we still don’t know about where a Harley Quinn/Joker project falls among the many announced and in-development movies DC and Warner Bros. are working on, Requa said he, too, doesn’t yet know “where it is on the queue of DC movies.”

First rumored back in July of 2017, but upstaged ever since by a string of announcements ranging from Jared Leto’s Joker project, to Margot Robbie's solo Harley Quinn film, to the in-development standalone Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, the Harley Quinn vs. Joker movie hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in the past year. But at least, and at last, we know that there’s a script.

Now back to the real question: Do you want to see DC pursue a dark, punched-up comedy angle for the Suicide Squad’s two biggest stars? Let us know in the comments.