At the Television Critics Association press tour, the Chairman of Entertainment at FOX Kevin Reilly, revealed new information regarding the upcoming series Gotham. It was originally stated back in September of last year that Gotham would focus primarily around Jim Gordon’s early career as a police officer , however it seems now the series will be an origins story for Batman.
“Batman is in it, as a young Bruce Wayne,” Reilly states. “This is an origin story. This is what I love about it. This is not like some of the things where you’ve bought a franchise, but then you have a bunch of characters no one’s heard of, or an offshot that we make up. This is all of the classic Batman characters, with a young Bruce Wayne, with Detective Gordon before he’s Commissioner, with Penguin, with the Riddler, and with the Joker. All those characters are going to arc and become who they are. I’ve read the script. It’s really good. It’s going to be this operatic soap that has a slightly larger-than-life quality. And we will arc a young Bruce Wayne from a child into the final episode of of the series, when he will put on the cape. We’re playing with [the casting of Bruce Wayne] now. He’s a young boy, but my guess would be that he’d be somewhere around 12.”
So it now seems the series is taking a Smallville approach to the origins of Batman and his rogues gallery with a Christopher Nolan esque tone and feel to the series, which is certainly not a bad thing. As previously mentioned, Bruce Wayne donning the cape and cowl will not be seen until the series concludes and a similar approach will be adopted for the villains also. “We’re not starting in that world where villains are in costume, Reilly clarifies. “You begin to see the evolution of the eccentricities that become those characters, but you really sort of arc there.” Reilly also states it will have no connection with Ben Affleck’s Batman/Bruce Wayne in the upcoming sequel to Man of Steel.
I certainly think it will be interesting to see this adopted Smallville approach to the series, even if it will be a similar agonising wait to finally see Bruce wearing the costume. The original premise regarding Gordon’s early career as a police officer appealed more to me, as it would have been interesting to see Gordon’s struggle to pursue justice and hold onto his moral code in such a corrupt city. I was imagining ‘The Wire’ set in Gotham City which would have been brilliant. However, saying I am not excited about this series would be a definitive understatement. Pre-production for Gotham is under way, with staffing and the scripting expected to begin shortly, so stay tuned for more details when they emerge.