Classic Villains Will Populate Gotham

Along with a young Bruce Wayne

Following last week's news that Danny Cannon will be directing the pilot episode of Fox's Batman spin-off TV series Gotham, an announcement from Fox chairman Kevin Reilly has revealed that there's more to the show than we previously thought. Far from being a relatively straight-ahead cop show focused on the young Jim Gordon and his colleagues, Reilly says Gotham will also include origin stories for most of the classic bat-villains, as well as featuring the young Bruce Wayne.

Assuming Gotham goes the desired distance, Reilly outlines a structure where, "The show will arc Bruce Wayne from a child aged around 12 into the final episode of the series when he will put on the cape".

Causing chaos in the city's shadows will be nascent versions of The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler and Catwoman (no doubt amongst other mischief makers from the Bat-canon). “We will see how they get to become who they are as Gotham is teetering on the edge,” Reilly said. “It is an operatic soap that has a slightly larger-than-life quality.” Slightly?

The series certainly isn't part of the Christopher Nolan continuity, and it's already been suggested that it won't be beholden to the comics either. So it'll be interesting to see how it deals with all these beginnings, given that in many cases we've already had multiple versions. The Joker in particular, we'd suggest, will require particularly careful handling since he's a character who's arguably stronger without explanation. Will we see him as Red Hood? Will he be named?

There are more questions than answers at this stage, but the show is developing swiftly. There's every expectation that Cannon's pilot will lead to a full series, and Fox will be opening and populating the series' writer's room in February, whence Gotham will be mapped. Expect some casting stories before too long...