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Harley Quinn: Murderville's Matt Novack Offers S03 Update (Interview)

As HBO Max's Harley Quinn creeps closer to its third season return sometime later this year, we have an update on how things are going with the production. During our interview for Murderville with Matt Novack, on which he's the lead composer, he offered an update on how the musical side of things is progressing with Harley Quinn, a show Novack worked on with series composer Jefferson Friedman. "We just had our first spotting session for the new season last week. So we're about to hit the ground… start scoring that." With Novack mentioning episodes take approximately a week to score, late Spring/Summer seems like a viable window (though Fall 2022 would make more sense from a marketing & promotion standpoint). Here's a look at the part of our interview where Novack discusses inspirations, scoring for the show, Bat-history, and (of course, the return of Harley Quinn.

Harley Quinn
Image: Screencap

Eden: With established franchises like Harley Quinn, there's a.. 50+ year history of Batman and the bat-universe. What is it like playing within that established musical history? Does that inform your compositions and the sound in this universe?

Matt:  It does and it doesn't, it's interesting. It kind of depends on how the showrunners and creators want to play certain things for this. I know Jefferson [Friedman] wrote a punk rock theme for Harley, which I can't remember her ever having a punk rock theme. I think the Batman: The Animated Series, which was a very instrumental, influential… 

Eden: I mean, that was the Batman that introduced Harley Quinn…

Matt: Yes! I was in high school when that came out and that score is just incredible. But in [Harley Quinn], there was an episode in season two – the Batman episode – where we consciously made a decision to… not quote thematically, but kind of genre and tonally reference different eras of the Batman theme. There are some Danny Elfman-inspired cues; there were some cues that kind of made it more sound like the "Arkham Asylum" video games and also "Batman: The Animated Series." And that was a lot of fun, just kind of doing a little bit of study and going, okay, how do these scores work? What are the signature sounds of these scores? And kind of doing my own version of that was a lot of fun.

Eden: It shows in the score. You bring in the sweeping orchestral, cinematic themes that just feel big and grand, and it's kind of a juxtaposition to the heavy punk rock score that we normally hear in "Harley Quinn."

Matt: It's great – there's so many different genres in that show, but it all works. I think it never feels too schizophrenic, for lack of a better term. The show's so much fun and has so many different creative challenges – in fact, we just had our first spotting session for the new season last week. So we're about to hit the ground… start scoring that. After – I think it's been two years, a year and a half – since we've finished the second season. So it's exciting.

Harley Quinn Seasons 1 & 2 are streaming on HBO Max, with Season 3 expected to hit the streamer sometime later this year. Murderville, starring Will Arnett, with score composed by Matt Novack, premieres on Netflix February 3.

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Eden ArnoldAbout Eden Arnold

Eden enjoys watching baking shows with her cat, and they have lots of opinions about television (as well as movies and everything else). She puts this to good use along with her journalism degree and writing experience with by-lines over the years in newspapers, magazines, books, and online media outlets. You can find her on Twitter and IG at @Edenhasopinions.
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