Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller, formerly of Rome and The Mentalist, just did a wide-ranging interview about the show with Entertainment Weekly. If you’re interested at all in Fox’s new Commissioner Gordon-based Batman prequel, I recommend checking it out, as he spills plenty of details about what to expect, and his process, and how Alfred is a badass former Marine now, which is awesome. He also says “in terms of what [director and executive producer Danny Cannon and director of photography David Stockton] are doing — visually — Gotham will surpass the Batman movies,” which I would have turned into a headline that read “Gotham Showrunner Says Series ‘Will Surpass The Batman Movies'” if I were 10-20% more unscrupulous.
But anyway. The Joker. Yes, the Joker will be on the show at some point. Obviously. Even if it’s a little weird for some of you.
You mentioned The Killing Joke. So you’ll bring in The Joker?
He’s the crown jewel of the Batman villains. He will be brought in with great care and a lot of thought.
Some feel Heath Ledger’s performance was so iconic it would be a mistake to try to do that character again so soon.
I’ve written scenes for Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. So while that is a serious and valid note, you can’t get into doing this without going there. That was a wonderful performance and — apart from everything else — wonderful make-up. And we should try to live up to that. It will be a different character. It’s certainly going to be more Heath Ledger than Cesar Romero. But like I say, all of these people are real people with feelings and emotions and history and parents. I just build from that.
Good enough for me. But then again, bringing the Joker back was never a big issue, in my book. It would actually be weirder to dance around it, especially if the series ends up running seven or eight years and they still refuse to acknowledge the franchise’s most popular and iconic villain. My concern, still, is that it could be so weird to have a Batman show, with all the Batman characters, but not, you know, Batman. And that appears to be the goal, as Fox top banana Kevin Reilly said that the pitch for the show “was that the final scene of the series would be Bruce Wayne putting on the cowl.”
Wait, do I have to Spoiler Alert that Bruce Wayne grows up to be Batman?