I wanted my next blog post to be a bit more fact based. My last post was very opinion based with it being my reactions to the Batman vs Two-Face Trailer;
So I thought it’d be fun to look at the connections between Batman 66 and last year’s villain-based movie, Suicide Squad. I can’t promise I’ll keep my opinions out of it completely but here are the connections I’ve either had pointed out to me or have discovered myself.
Now there’s the obvious connections, they use the Batman character and the Joker character, albeit in small doses, but I wanted to go a little bit deeper than the obvious.
- Lesley Gore
Lesley Gore despite actual being on the show, has her own connection to the show before we get into her Suicide Squad link. Lesley Gore was the niece of Howie Horwitz. Howie Horwitz was the producer of the show. So, Lesley Gore was able to get a role on the show as a sidekick to Julie Newmar’s Catwoman in the episodes; That Darn Catwoman and Scat! Darn Catwoman. She performed two songs, that were new at the time, in-character to the rest of Catwoman’s henchmen. Those being California Nights (being premiered on the first episode) and Maybe Now (being featured on the second episode).
But what does all this have to do with the modern-day Suicide Squad, a film tonally and literally far apart from Batman 66?
Lesley had a hit song in 1963 (3 years before the show and 53 years before Suicide Squad!), called You Don’t Own Me. That’s right! The same song used in one of the trailers, indicating how rebellious and how untrustworthy the Squad are for their task at hand, in that they can’t be owned. It’s also the song used to introduce the audience to Harley Quinn, setting the tone for her being her own independent, powerful person. An interesting choice of song and assertion considering her co-dependence and neediness for attention from The Joker in her original introduction.
This song gets a cover by Grace featuring G-Eazy which is featued on the Suicide Squad Soundtrack, proving the versatility and longevity of that song and its message.
Now these are very small connections but they’re there if you look/listen for them. In Suicide Squad, in the transformation scene where all the villains get into their respective costumes/uniforms, the song playing is Without Me by Eminem. Firstly there’s the unusual connection of Eminem being dressed in a parody of the Robin suit in the music video for this. But that isn’t specifically a Batman 66 connection, that’s just a Batman connection. The video also uses descriptive captions like in a comic. In a visual medium this is more of a reference to the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman show. We also see various comic book staples like speech and thought bubbles and panels. Early on in the music video we see a backwards “E” symbol, Eminem’s logo in the style of a Bat-Signal, but again that’s just a Batman connection.
So, where is the Batman 66 connection? Well at the 2:20 mark in the music video, he samples the theme tune, and, to set up the next verse and it’s rhythm actually goes “Na Na Na Na”. At the 3:49 mark in the music video Eminem in his Rap Boy costume is seen climbing the wall much like our heroes used to do back in 1966. Various moments throughout the video are also accentuated with words on the screen, much like the fight words used in the original show. Told you they were small connections! I admit these are a bit of a stretch in that the connections do not actually surface within the film, themselves but are linked in someway.
- Cara Delevingne
Cara Delevingne, the model and actress who portrayed June Moon and The Enchantress in Suicide Squad. Born in 1992, so clearly she was not on the show! Her connection isn’t as an actress or model, or through a song sample, or song cover.
Cara’s connection to the TV show is as a person and in her family history. Cara Delevingne’s Godmother is Joan Collins. Joan Collins being one of the few villains still with us from the show. Joan Collins was The Siren in two episodes of Season 3. Those episodes are Ring Around The Riddler and The Wail Of The Siren. Whilst Season 3 went away from the two nights a week, cliffhanger on the first night, format of the previous two seasons, we still get two episodes of The Siren. Why? The Siren is an unusual case, she starts off seeming like just a Moll or henchwoman of The Riddler in Ring Around The Riddler, but is able to get away and comes back the next episode as the main villain, showing herself to be more important, powerful, and more of a threat than she did in the previous episode. Sound familiar? Cara Delevingne’s character of The Enchantress, seems like, just a member of the Suicide Squad, and arguably at the whim of others. As the film unfolds however, we start to realise just how powerful she is and she goes on to be the main villain and therefore quite important to the film! Of course as well, though they do it in very different ways, as their characters’ names would suggest, The Enchantress and The Siren, both bend men’s wills to their own. Like Godmother, like Goddaughter!
If you know of any connections I missed, by all means let me know in the comments.
Though some of this blog post comes from my own knowledge or things I have learnt over the years, I would like to particularly credit the following websites for some of the double-checking and fact-checking I did.
Also included for context and your enjoyment here are links to the music videos, and trailers discussed in this blog post.
- You Don’t Own Me by Grace Featuring G-Eazy
- Without Me by Eminem (though some lyrical content has been censored in this version, not all, arguably, objectionable content has)
- Suicide Squad Trailer #2
Suicide Squad can be purchased on 4K UHD Blu-Ray from Amazon by clicking on the picture below: