- Warning: There are minor spoilers ahead of Season 3 of “Harley Quinn,” now airing on HBO Max.
- Director James Gunn surprisingly in the new season is the same.
- Executive Producers Patrick Shoemaker and Justin Halpern told Insider that he joined the show after a Twitter DM.
The waiting time is over. More than two years later, the third season of Kali Coco’s gem “Harley Quinn” is back.
If you tune in to the first three episodes of the adult animated series, which is now airing on its new home HBO Max, you’ll see “The Suicide Squad” director James Gunn in an important film as Thomas Wayne’s biopic.
Insider asked the show’s executive producers Justin Halpern and Patrick Shoemaker on Zoom Wednesday how it ended up with Gunn in the new season.
It turns out that Twitter played a huge role in making the cameo a reality.
“We knew he was a fan of the show,” Schumacher told Insider. “He was kind of, all of a sudden, tweeting about the show, or clips, or just thoughts about it — all very positive.”
“We knew we were going to make this story that featured a kind of Thomas Wayne autobiography worthy of status awards, sort of ‘pilot’ style,” Schumaker continued, saying they were looking for who might be a good fit for the part of the director.
“We thought about James because, I think it’s fair to say, he’s making big-budget popcorn movies that aren’t. But now that’s his move to…Now he’s in Scorsese’s tenure and he’s making something a little more serious.”
There was only one problem. Neither Shoemaker nor Halpern Gann knew. They just knew he seemed to be really enjoying their animated series.
Shoemaker took an adventure and connected with Gunn via Twitter.
It paid off.
“I just called him because we happened to follow each other, and I never thought I’d get an answer. We don’t really know each other. I haven’t met him in person,” Schumacher said. “What eventually happened is he came back to me almost immediately and was like, ‘I’m here. Let’s do this. Here’s my rep’s info. Let’s make it happen.”
“Within a few weeks, I was able to direct my voice to him,” Schumaker added. “He was away because he was in Vancouver shooting ‘Peacemaker.’ We spent almost an hour together, remotely, and it was a blast.”
Schoomaker said they bounced around ideas for Marvel’s meta jokes, where Gunn directed the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, and that Gunn was a “good sport” and even gave some details of his own that pushed the envelope a bit more.
“It’s a funny impromptu,” Shoemaker said of how Gunn’s been to anything. “He could have said no to all these things and he didn’t. He said yes to all of that… It was like watering a fish in that context to him.”
This season, Gunn directs fictional character Billy Bob Thornton (voiced by the actor) as Bruce Wayne’s father and interacts with Clives (Alan Tudyk), an aspiring actor who will do anything to get a chance to work with Gunn, even if it means transferring his body to Director’s chair to keep him warm.
“I really appreciate that he took the time to do this because I know ‘Peacemaker’ was such a big job,” Schumacher said, adding, “I think he’s proud of that because he changed his Twitter avatar to a Harley cartoon.”
“We’d love to have him back if he was ever there, and we end up being lucky enough to do another season,” Schumaker added. “It would be great.”
Starring vocal talents like Lake Bell, Ron Funches, Jason Alexander and JB Smoove, the first three episodes of “Harley Quinn” are now broadcasting on HBO Max.
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