Gotham showrunner confirms plans for Joker to appear on the series
Now that Fox's GOTHAM has been picked up by the network for the Fall season, showrunner Bruno Heller has revealed new details about the show and the cast of characters before they become the iconic comic book villains. Heller, a veteran of shows like THE MENTALIST and HBO's period drama ROME, spoke with Entertainment Weekly about plans for the series.
Heller explained that GOTHAM intrigued him because of the lack of costumed characters. Unlike The CW's ARROW and THE FLASH, GOTHAM is going to remain grounded entirely in reality. Heller shared that the entire first season of GOTHAM is already planned out and will visit the various characters very early in their careers so as to allow for growth over multiple seasons. Specifically which characters will be met is a larger question.
Obviously, the Penguin, Riddler, young Catwoman, Alfred. Possibly Harvey Dent. Poison Ivy. Um … and then there will be others, but I hate to — I’m so used to doing a police procedural, so I’m used to telling, “Next week he’s going to go there.” With this, it’s very much storytelling. So I would be remiss to tell you who will show up when. I will say we’re not going to skimp on giving people the characters they want and expect from Gotham. But when and how they’re going to show up is half the fun. Penguin is one of those guys that, as soon as you see him, you go, “Oh, that’s the Penguin.” It would be hard to disguise him as somebody else.
It has been said before that GOTHAM could follow the rise of Bruce Wayne from orphan to superhero with the character donning the cowl in the final episode, similar to what SMALLVILLE did. But, the big question is whether or not the biggest villain in the Batman universe will make an appearance.
He’s the crown jewel of the Batman villains. He will be brought in with great care and a lot of thought. I’ve written scenes for Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. So while that is a serious and valid note, you can’t get into doing this without going there. [Heath Ledger's] was a wonderful performance and — apart from everything else — wonderful make-up. And we should try to live up to that. It will be a different character. It’s certainly going to be more Heath Ledger than Cesar Romero. But like I say, all of these people are real people with feelings and emotions and history and parents. I just build from that.
Heller also cites classic Batman comic "The Killing Joke" as a major influence so we can only assume he is not taking this lightly. I would expect GOTHAM to have a big opening and a potential loss of viewers if it doesn't keep interest. AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. had the same issue this season and is only now beginning to balance itself out. I would expect GOTHAM to save The Joker as a get out of jail free card if the ratings start to slip.
GOTHAM airs this Fall on FOX.