As originally conceived, the television series Gotham was to serve as a prequel of sorts to the Batman mythos. Launched by the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, it was designed to focus on the dark underworld of the city that the Waynes called home. And while young Bruce was intended to be a part of it, his role was supposed to be minimal — until David Mazouz was cast and got before the cameras.
The actor’s skills proved so strong that it forced the creative team to rethink its position. “This Bruce Wayne is growing up in front of our eyes and this year he’s going to have to take on a new personality to protect those around him,” says executive producer/director Danny Cannon. “Too many eyes are on him and we started talking about the Court Of Owls storyline, so he has to start saying, ‘I’m actually not that Bruce Wayne who could be perceived as a threat, I’m actually a brat millionaire.’ An irresponsible, spoiled person, so that he can deflect the attention that he’s getting.”
At the same time, Bruce is building a relationship with Wayne Enterprises junior executive Lucius Fox (Chris Chalk), who is starting to realize that there’s something to this kid that nobody else sees; the idea that he’s completely unique and so incredibly driven that you can’t help but be drawn to his power. “In Bruce Wayne we are creating somebody who can start to fantasize and imagine what it would be like to be his own police force,” he says.
That “police force,” naturally, is referring to his future as Batman, but the impression about Gotham as a whole is that it’s all about world-building. So like Clark Kent on Smallville before it, it would seem that the audience won’t see the Batman suit until the final moment of the final episode. That being said, also like Smallville, there will be a gradual evolution of the character towards that moment.
Cannon laughs, “This is the best job I’ve ever had and I don’t want it to end too soon, but that transition does happen at the end. That being said, there are many versions along the way. He didn’t just go into a cave and come out as Batman. A lot goes into that. There was a trial and error along the way, and all kinds of drama. We’ll get to deal with all of it.”