The second Kurt Cobain-inspired documentary currently doing the rounds forgoes the nice contemplation of what could have been had the gifted songwriter not killed himself in April 1994. Soaked in Bleach goes straight for the jugular, accusing Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, of being at fault for the Nirvana frontman’s demise. The sort-of controversial film puts forward a pretty convincing argument: Love paid to have Cobain murdered.
Let’s be real. Love makes a convincing villain. This is presumably why her name came up in coverage celebrating this week’s double Batman anniversary (Batman Begins and Batman Forever were released ten and twenty years ago, respectively). The Hollywood Reporter has unearthed all sorts of factoids surrounding Joel Schumacher’s scrapped movie Batman Unchained and one involves an early casting wishlist that included Love. The sequel was poised to include The Joker and his paramour Harley Quinn —both of whom are in the upcoming Suicide Squad — with Love tackling the part of Quinn.
Quinn is a notorious character in the DC canon who’s not averse to violence, mayhem, and generally making life unpleasant for other people. A bit like Love has a tendency to do. And while it would have been a kick to see her interpretation of the character, her reputation and real-life behavior more than make up for the Harley Quinn that never was. This week, she and her legal team have slapped every movie theater intending to screen Soaked In Bleach with a defamation lawsuit, claiming the film casts her in a negative light. Which it obviously does, but still. Is someone protesting a little too much?
Interestingly enough, Schumacher and screenwriter Mark Protosevich initially planned for Love’s Harley Quinn to go through a series of character developments as a “complex, conflicted” woman who is “ultimately a good person underneath.” Shame it hasn’t worked out like that in real-life.