‘Batman: Caped Crusader’ Creators Talk Race-Swapped Harley Quinn & Show’s Setting

Batman Caped Crusader Creators Talk Race Swapped Harley Quinn Shows Setting
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‘Batman: Caped Crusader,’ initially announced as an HBO Max series in 2021, found a home on Amazon Prime Video after HBO passed on the project.

Scheduled for release later this year, the creators, Timm and character designer James Tucker, emphasized in a recent Entertainment Weekly interview that their top priority was to avoid replicating ‘Batman: The Animated Series’. To achieve this, they opted to make the new show a true period piece set in the 1940s, departing from the anachronistic mix of technologies seen in B:TAS.

One of the biggest surprises for the fans was that in this show, Harley Quinn will be portrayed as Asian American which stirred polarizing reactions from the fandom. Bruce Timm, who originally co-created the character in the first place commented on their different take on Harley. They wanted to reverse everything from her behavior to her costume:

I co-created the character, so I have a lot of love and affection for her, but I thought there might be something interesting about bringing her on the show, just not as Joker’s girlfriend. So how do we do that? A big part was just doing a basic flip. The original Dr. Quinzel was a little bit more serious, and then when she became Harley, she got really goofy and weird. So we thought, what if we reverse that? When she’s Dr. Quinzel, she’s a little bit more whimsical and fun, and then when she’s Harley Quinn, she’s scary. The two halves of Harley’s personality are also more connected in Caped Crusader. Instead of abandoning her day job after becoming a jester-themed supervillain, this version of Harley uses psychiatry as a weapon.

Timm also described this version of Batman as really weird:

He’s a really weird human being,” Timm says of Batman. “He’s not obsessed with his parents’ murder, but it changed him in a way where he’s still not adjusted to being a human being. He’s literally Batman; inside, that’s who he is. Whenever he’s Bruce Wayne, that’s not just him with a mask off, that’s him wearing a person suit. He’s trying to pretend to be something that he’s not.

Tucker also emphasized the intention to portray Batman as an enigmatic figure, shrouded in mystery to the point where neither the characters within the story nor the audience can readily discern his true identity or motives, challenging the preconception of him as a straightforward hero.

‘Batman: Caped Crusader’ arrives at Amazon Prime Video on August 1. Have something to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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