If any series stood accused of missing what makes live-action superheroes enjoyable, it’d be FOX’s Gotham. Well, wouldn’t you know it - the showrunner who thinks “prenatal origin stories” and sexualizing 14-year old characters make great fodder for Batman’s beginnings says “I don’t think superheroes work very well on TV.”

The eyebrow-raising quote comes courtesy of Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller at the Edinburgh Television Festival (via The Hollywood Reporter), who followed by inadvertently casting shade on other fully-realized TV superheroes. Why don’t superheroes work on TV, you ask? “Probably because of the costume thing.”

Says Heller, wrongly:

TV is about real people and faces, and not so much about magic and the supernatural things … [Gotham] has to be both a crime procedural and a mythic, epic, grand comic book saga. It’s a tricky combination, because you have to keep it real and unreal at the same time.

It gets better! Despite shoehorning in each and every possible Batman character well before it would ever make sense for them to appear on a young Bruce Wayne’s radar, Heller prefers to thumb his nose at those interested in the comic elements:

The comic book constituency has become so large and visible with the whole Comic-Con thing that it is very easy to assume that the audience is purely comic book enthusiasts. But I operate the show on the basis that it is a mistake to just go there.

What we are trying to do is always give little Easter eggs, little gifts every episode to the real cognoscenti, but you don’t need to know more than the basic Batman myth.

Boy. Gotham has admittedly found a bit more of its comic voice with the second (and likely third) season, but the next time someone accuses superhero movie directors (or critics) of not understanding comics, show them Heller’s eyeroll-worthy quotes.

In the meantime, Gotham Season 3 will premiere on September 19. What if someone gets a costume? Oh no!


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