Danny Cannon Directing Gotham Pilot

And Stan Lee will appear in S.H.I.E.L.D.

Fox TV Wants To Visit Gotham

Following a fraught bidding war, Fox TV ended up with the opportunity to bring Batman TV spin-off Gotham to the small screen. The Mentalist's Bruno Heller is developing and overseeing the series, and we're now approaching the point where the the pilot episode is heading into production. Danny Cannon is now set to be the man rolling the cameras.

Cannon is no stranger to comic book properties, having been the man behind the Stallone version of Judge Dredd in 1995. He's rather reinvented himself since, however, dusting himself off from that disappointment, and from the ignominy of I Still Know What You Did Last Summer four years later, and emerging as a force in television.

Most significantly, he's maintained a long association with the various CSI series, acting as executive producer across CSI, CSI: NY and CSI: Miami, and as director of several episodes, including the original pilot back in 2000. He's played similarly integral roles on Alcatraz, Nikita, Dark Blue, Eleventh Hour, The Forgotten and, most recently, The Tomorrow People.

We might have expected a TV show based around the Gotham PD to take some leaves from Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka's superb Gotham Central comics. But Heller's Gotham will focus on an earlier period, centred on the young James Gordon in the years before he ever met the Dark Knight. It won't be part of continuity with the Christopher Nolan films, and similarly won't chime with Frank Miller's Batman: Year One, which also featured an early-career Gordon. Gotham is its own beast, and there's already a commitment that the pilot will lead to a full series.

While we're on the subject of comics-based television, we might also mention that Stan Lee is set to make an appearance in Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.. He'll show up in the episode that airs on February 4, and while he hasn't revealed his character, he has teased that it's "a big role". Is he serious, or just joshing about one of his usual goofy cameos? Wait and see, true believers!