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‘Gotham’ Exec Producers Say Show Will Reveal ‘Psychological Truth’ Of Batman

For months now, Fox has insisted that its new series Gotham isn’t a Batman show. It’s a Jim Gordon show.

However, executive producers Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, who wrote and directed the pilot respectively, were more than happy to tell IGN that the Gotham City of the series will eventually forge Batman from the pre-teen Bruce Wayne, who is a regular character on the show. (The secret is that he’ll be dark and damaged. A bold new vision!) They also discussed how they established the look and feel of the city, and a lot more about their goals. Here are some highlights:

On the city creating Batman:

Heller: “It’s really about telling the true story of how someone might become the Batman. The psychological truth of that is that he’d be a lot more damaged and a lot more traumatized and a lot more strange than some visions of how that character would be. It’s a dark character, and it’s a character under pressure.”

On story influences:

Cannon: “I read everything, and you reach that point where you have to make it your own …A t some point, you have to plunge in and go, ‘All right, hate me or… hate me. [Laughs] I’ve got to make this my own.’”

Heller: “It’s a bit like Greek mythology. There’s a thousand stories. They all contradict themselves to a degree, but that’s the beauty of it — telling stories about characters that are larger than any one story.”

On story construction:

Heller: “If you don’t see the character that you love in that episode, you’ll see it him in the next one — because it’s a tapestry. We have to tell so many different stories. The fun of it is in finding the storyline you like, but then there’s a lot of other stuff going on.”

On the look and feel of the city:

Cannon: “It reminded us of New York in the late ’70s and early ’80s … Hopefully in the atmospherics of Gotham we created a romantic, gothic, Dickensian kind of world.

“The main thing was for it to be real. I didn’t want any CG anything. So it had to be real, and that meant real weather, a real visceral experience of the place. So we were constantly using steam, rain … I bent some rules in New York and got the shots I needed. Then all we had to do was take away pieces of buildings and add a few others, and we stole from real pictures, real reference material: cathedrals, gothic buildings, London, Paris, Barcelona — and that’s all in there. So that means Gotham is a hodgepodge of so many great cities.”

Gotham premieres on Fox this fall.

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