Ben McKenzie Says ‘Gotham’ Season 2 Won’t Make the Same ‘Mistakes’ As Last Year
FOX’s Gotham clearly made enough Bat-fans happy to justify an extended first season order, as well as the Season 2 renewal, though many (like us) derided the show’s take on the Dark Knight’s early days. Series lead Ben McKenzie apparently agrees, calling Season 1 a “mistake,” and assuring this year will be “exactly what the fans want to see.”
As filming continues on the second season, McKenzie got surprisingly candid with Entertainment Weekly, acknowledging that Gotham’s villain-per-week format quickly ran out of steam, as well that the extended episode order interfered with the audience’s attention span. Admitting parts of Season 1 were “just a mistake,” McKenzie swears that Season 2 will prove different:
I think we made a mistake relatively early on in trying to introduce a villain and take care of that villain in one episode: catch them, send them to Arkham, do whatever. That was just a mistake. We should’ve never done it.
We were ordered for 16 [episodes]. We were going to have one break and come back and finish the rest of them in terms of the airing, and then we added six more, so we had to break again and then we had to come back again. And it’s hard for the audience to follow that many changes in a series in terms of when it’s airing and when it’s not. […]
The audience really wants to understand who these people are and live with them, sit with them and enjoy them. Whether they’re evil or good, they are entertaining. So that’s what we’re doing in season 2. [It’s] really kick ass. I think it’s exactly what the fans want to see.
Elsewhere of Gotham Season 2, we know the second run will make series regulars of Drew Powell’s Butch Gilzean, Chris Chalk’s Lucius Fox, Nicholas D’Agosto’s Harvey Dent, and Morena Baccarin’s Dr. Leslie Thompkins. Producers will incorporate such Bat-baddies as Clayface, the Mad Hatter, Mr. Freeze, Hugo Strange, Tommy Elliot, and potentially even the Court of Owls, while early episodes will serve as a “pre-embryonic” (sigh) origin story for the Joker.
In addition to Natalie Alyn Lind’s Silver St. Cloud and True Detective star James Frain’s role as sinister philanthropist Theo Galavan, Gotham Season 2 will also feature Michael Chiklis as Captain Nathaniel Barnes, Jessica Lucas as Galavan’s sister (and future Tigress) Tabitha, along with Dustin Ybarra as a homicidal cannibal. Victoria Cartagena and Andrew Stewart-Jones have also been downgraded from their series regular roles of Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen.
Ben McKenzie has always struck fans and reporters as a straight-shooter, and it’s certainly refreshing to hear him acknowledging a few stumbles in Gotham’s first run. His claims of Season 2's improvement remain to be seen, but will jaded viewers return either way? Gotham Season 2 will return on Mondays this fall, so take a look at the teaser below while we wait.
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