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Courtney Love was in running to play villain in scrapped 'Batman' film

Hole singer could have played Harley Quinn in the follow-up to 1997's 'Batman & Robin'

Courtney Love performing live, House of Blues, Hollywood, June 1 2007. Picture: Anthony Aniano
Courtney Love was once in the running to play a villain in a Batman film.

After director Joel Schumacher finished work on 1997's Batman & Robin, but before his George Clooney-fronted movie came out and flopped at the box office, screenwriter Mark Protosevich was hired by Warner Bros. to write a draft script for a follow-up. Titled Batman Unchained, the film would revolve around Clooney's Batman and Chris O'Donnell's Robin, with the Scarecrow and Harley Quinn as its antagonists.

Jack Nicholson's Joker was also slated to appear in the sequel, with high-profile cameos coming from Danny DeVito's The Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman, Tommy Lee Jones' Two-Face and Jim Carrey's The Riddler. "It was going to be very dark," Schumacher recalled in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I remember going to the set of Face/Off and asking Nic Cage to play the Scarecrow."

Continuing, Protosevich revealed that the Harley Quinn character was conceived as "sadistic in a mischievous, fun sense". At the time, Madonna was rumoured to be in the frame to play Quinn, but Protosevich has now recalled meeting with Courtney Love about the part. "I think she had heard about the possibility of Harley Quinn being in the new Batman and was thinking she would be good for it," the screenwriter recalled. "But we didn't really talk about that. We talked about a lot of other things. It was certainly one of the better lunches I've ever had in my career in show business."

READ MORE: Courtney Love's 10 Most Unforgettable Acting Roles

Protosevich completed a first draft of his script, but after Batman & Robin opened in cinemas and proved unpopular with critics and film fans alike, Warner Bros. pulled the plug on Batman Unchained. The caped crusader would eventually return to the big screen eight years later in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins.

Meanwhile, Harley Quinn is set to appear on the big screen in next year's Suicide Squad, played by Margot Robbie. She will star in Warner Bros.' supervillain ensemble movie alongside Jared Leto's Joker, Will Smith's Deadshot, Jai Courtney's Boomerang, Cara Delevingne's Enchantress and Joel Kinnaman's Rick Flag.

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