‘Gotham’ Showrunner Bruno Heller Promises Serialized Stories, Teases Joker
Fans have a lot of questions about Fox's new Jim Gordon-driven show Gotham, which also features a preteen, pre-Batman Bruce Wayne. Will it be a procedural or tell season-long arcs? Will there be masked heroes to fight the supervillains who will appear on the show? What's the tone going to be like? Where's Gordon's mustache?
Showrunner Bruno Heller (The Mentalist) talked with Entertainment Weekly and answered a few, but not all, of those questions. He said the show won't follow a crime-of-the-week format (though it will have a "procedural framework"). It will be serialized. He also said the entire first season has been plotted out. Look after the jump to see what else he had to say about the series, particularly whether it'll become a Batman show.
On which characters will show up in the first season:
"Obviously, the Penguin, Riddler, young Catwoman, Alfred. Possibly Harvey Dent. Poison Ivy. Um … and then there will be others, but I hate to — I’m so used to doing a police procedural, so I’m used to telling, 'Next week he’s going to go there.' With this, it’s very much storytelling. So I would be remiss to tell you who will show up when."
On The Joker:
"He’s the crown jewel of the Batman villains. He will be brought in with great care and a lot of thought."
On whether Gotham is a Batman show:
"For me, if they said, 'Do Batman,' I would have said, 'No.' I would have not been interested at all. I don’t think Batman works very well on TV — to have people behind masks. Frankly, all those superhero stories I’ve seen, I always love them until they get into the costume."
On writing the pilot script:
"A lot of the work was reverse engineering the story to look at what these characters were like when they younger. Penguin, for instance, is not a powerful gang leader, he’s a gofer for a gangster. It’s about giving the world room to grow, but at the same time giving the fun and pleasure and drama of that heightened world."
On comics inspiration:
"I would hate to pick a particular Batman iteration because I would be dismissing others. But for me, The Killing Joke was one of the great ones in the comic books. Obviously the [Frank] Miller version [The Dark Knight], as well."
On how Gotham will measure up to the Christopher Nolan movies:
"I would say 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. The movies are a very rigorous, kind of Germanic take on that world. They’re visually stunning, but not particularly visually pleasurable. I would say this is much more on the street level of Gotham."
"He’s both a father figure and a dangerous father figure. He’s a tough character."
On David Mazouz, the 12-year-old actor who plays Bruce Wayne:
"[He] is, without doubt, the best actor ever to play the part of Bruce Wayne. Without doubt — including the people who played Batman. He is a genuine prodigy of an actor, as you will see on screen. Frankly, before David was cast, I was ambivalent about how much we would use Bruce Wayne in the series."
On whether the series will end with Batman donning a cowl:
"Yes, whether metaphorically or literally — something like that. But that’s six or seven years down the line. Hopefully."