More information about the anticipated television show “Gotham” was released in a 21-minute sneak peek on Aug. 25th. The new show will be aired alongside other DC Comics-inspired programming like “Arrow” (entering its third season Oct. 8 on the CW) and the “The Flash” (premiering Oct. 7 on the CW ). “Gotham” is based on the corrupt urban setting and characters from the Batman comic books. It was filmed in the aftermath of the successful trilogy of Batman films directed by Christopher Nolan and the popular “Arkham” videogame series.
The show has star power, recruiting Jada Pinkett-Smith (“Madagascar,” the “Matrix “sequels) to play a new character not previously seen in the comic books or films, as well as Ben McKenzie (“Southland,” animated film “Batman: Year One”) who has assumed the role of Detective Jim Gordon. It also features Robin Lord Taylor (“The Walking Dead”) as a younger Oswald Cobblebot, the man who will become Batman’s effete enemy the Penguin.
Geoff Johns, a writer for both comic books and television, is also working with the show. At DC Comics he also holds the position for Chief Creative Officer.
The tagline is, “Before there was Batman, there was Gotham.”
A “crime drama,” the teaser promises that the new show will reveal the origin stories of other classic Batman villains besides the Penguin: Two-Face, Poison Ivy, the Riddler, Catwoman, and possibly even the Joker. Some of the budding rogues gallery will be already adults, while others will appear as youths.
The future Batman character, Bruce Wayne, will himself be a child raised by his loyal butler and father figure Alfred Pennyworth. Throughout the series, he will form a personal connection with the new Detective Jim Gordon, who tasked with investigating the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents.
Comics book series like “Gotham Central” have taken a procedural look at the Batman canon in the past, but this is the first time we will see a police drama with the DC characters on in live-action.
The idea of prequels have also been explored in Batman comic books, with the acclaimed Batman story “Year One” having offered a look at both a younger Jim Gordon and a fledgling Batman character. However, “Gotham” is something of a formerly relatively un-mined story idea: the concept of the Batman’s childhood.
“You see all of these legendary characters, but you see them at a point in their lives which has not really been explored before,” McKenzie stated in the teaser.
The show will likely be a hit with fans of the character, who have wondered before about what Bruce Wayne’s childhood would have been like.
“Well, it was like the prep school years, right? Where was he?” posited Paul Dini on the “Fatman on Batman” podcast, when the show was still in its more secretive stages. Dini has worked on several Batman animated projects and series, as well as other television shows and comic books. Podcast host Kevin Smith offered his own thoughts. “Those are his Jesus years… What a great story.”
Gotham will air its first episode on Sept. 22 of this year.
By Jillian Moyet