Holy Gotham! Fox's James Gordon Series Will Include Bruce Wayne, Penguin, Riddler, Others

Fox Gotham Series Bruce Wayne BatmanFox president Kevin Reilly threw comic book fans a super bone on Monday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour by affirming that Gotham, its recently ordered series about the origins of oneday police commish James Gordon, will not only also follow a young Bruce Wayne’s journey to becoming Batman but feature iconic villains, as well.

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Unlike other superhero shows, Reilly cryptically and gently snarked, that dance around the incorporation of popular names, “This is all of the classic Batman characters, with a young Bruce Wayne, the Penguin, the Riddler [and] how they came to be…. What events led up to [someone] becoming Catwoman…. all with Gotham teetering on the edge.”

Asked to expound on the presence of Bruce Wayne — a character heretofore declared basically untouchable by shows such as Smallville and Arrow — Reilly made clear: “We will arc a young Bruce Wayne from a child” of about 12 until whenever the series finale might be, at which point he “puts on the cape.”

Reilly explained to a small group of reporters after his executive presentation that Fox ponied up a “very healthy licensing fee” to secure “all of the underlying Batman rights for the entire franchise.” He added: This is not some adjunct companion series. This is the Batman franchise, just backing it up [in chronology].”

Previously, it was only confirmed that Gotham, executive-produced and penned by The Mentalist‘s Bruno Heller and produced by Warner Bros. Television, would explore “the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon and the villains that made Gotham famous.”

“I’ve read the script,” Reilly added, “and it’s really good. It’s going to be this operatic soap that has a slightly larger-than-life quality.”

Writers room staffing on Gotham is set to begin sometime in February.

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40 Comments
  1. sladewilson says:

    The training of the future Batman is included in this? Oh yeah…. Score!!!!!

  2. Alan says:

    i would much prefer this as a series about the cops working in a gotham which already has batman like the gotham central comic (one of the all time greatest batman comics) because pretty much all of the batvillains become who they are because of the batman and to have them around before bruce puts on the cowl just feels completely wrong to me. i really wish they would reconsider this part of the show. for example the joker becomes who he is because batman is out there and he wants to play so having the joker show up here before batman loses most of the significance of who he is.

    • Playhouse says:

      But each of these people were around before Bruce became Batman, just not in those final forms. This will explore their histories and what breaks them enough to find clarity in a world with a man dressed up as a bat that drives them to their own costumes.

  3. Fido says:

    Guess I need to read up on my Batman history because I thought it was only AFTER Bruce became Batman that all the costumed baddies moved into Gotham, so having a series where these baddies exist but not Batman feels kinda weird.
    Also, I thought Bruce did all his training AWAY from Gotham whilst on a many-year long wander around the world, only returning after being declared legally dead. So for this series are they doing away with this and having him “leave his trade” whilst IN Gotham as a sort of male Nancy Drew, with Gordon as his mentor ?

    • Alan says:

      you are correct on both counts, its all going wrong with this show so far.

      • Nicotine says:

        Bruce Wayne became Batman because of the corruption of Gotham City and the murder of his parents. So, that corruption was around before he ever donned the cape, so to speak. Just like they can show Bruce Wayne before he became Batman, they can show other villains before they became their alter egos.

        • Alan says:

          but then they cant really do anything interesting with the villains because all their interesting stories come from conflicts with batman.

          • websnap says:

            Not really. Pengiun is the same pre/post batman… an entitled jerk with old money that thinks the world owes him more than he even has now. Crane isn’t interesting because of the mask, but because of his back story… and experiments trying out his fear toxin… Killer Croc was always like that, as was Selina (I mean a thief).

    • l says:

      Bruce was only declared legally dead in the Nolan version… though in the comics he did do much of his training away

    • websnap says:

      Nope, Gordon moves from Chicago, but many of the mainstays (Cobblepot (penguin), Crane (scarecrow), Selina (Catwoman) and Nygma (riddler) to name a few are all products of how crappy a city Gotham is. The personas came from the Bat as an example, but the city was twisting it’s inhabitants well before the bat showed up.

      • Alan says:

        but the bat showing up is what causes them to be who they are.

        • websnap says:

          No, they were criminals already, they just weren’t theatrical. The way I see it, Gotham made them criminals – Batman made them Super Villains.

          • Alan says:

            you cant have the joker without the bat to make him who he is, same for riddler, twoface loses a lot of what makes him interesting if batman isnt around too. hell bane’s only goal in life is to destroy batman, and hugo strange is obsessed with him. ra’s al ghul and talia have one goal in life too which is adding batman to their family. catwoman becomes catwoman because of batman’s example. i could go on but ive run out of batvillain names from memory and i would have to look them up and i dont feel like it.

        • Rafay says:

          Not really. Read their back-stories. I also think they should include Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy (Just my opinion). Joker for sure becomes Joker for Batman but other than that all of their lives are f–ed up. Think of Wayne as a positive result of a rather negative process, and truth be told, the Gotham characters are known for their blurred lines approach to villainy, some being righteous in their own respects. Batman is the one that connects them that shows their character but that doesn’t mean that their character couldn’t be shown without him. Its just that comic book writers use the interaction of characters to show the personality of these villains because Batman is the main character., he’s the focus. I think that will change. Not to neglect Wayne but in Joker’s words “One event can alter everything” Whether it be towards the “good”, the “bad”, these are all constructions of perspective. Hopefully we will be breaking that nonsensical classification that a thing has to bad or good.

      • l says:

        Selina would be around 9-10 probably in the time frame of this show.

        • Rafay says:

          Selina’s story is sadder than Wayne’s. Just my opinion. Wayne’s parents were killed, but he had alot of things to fall back on, money, Alfred, hell he was from the Wayne family. Sure, he had some difficulties earlier on, but he resolved them. Selina’s mother went under shock because of the abuse her father gave her mom and Selina was never really rich either. She had nothing bu the streets of Gotham to go back upon. Penguin was bullied, Riddler was abused into confusion by his father for being too smart. Seems like Wayne wasn’t the only one who got f–ed up.

    • QuinnMallory says:

      DC comics is not really known for its canon. There have been many many different origin stories of Batman.

  4. l says:

    If Bruce is 12 in this series, the main villains would all be fairly young also… Catwoman is younger than Batman so she’s be like 9-10 in this timeframe? Not sure about how central a 12 year old Bruce can be to the storyline.

    • Lena120 says:

      The villains who are the same age as Bruce will probably pop up when he’s a teen or young adult. In the earlier seasons, they could tackle Penguin and the Riddler easy.

  5. Azerty says:

    I have never enough Batman in my life so I consider this as a great news. Can’t wait for it.

  6. David4 says:

    So it’s Smallville with Batman being a kid instead of a teen.

  7. Amanda says:

    If they can pull this off this will be awesome!!! I’ve loved Batman since I was a toddler and this could hopefully be great to see not only young James Gordon but Bruce Wayne and the Wayne family. My guess is this will start out before Bruce’s parents were killed. If I’m not mistaken in some of the comics Gordon and Thomas Wayne were friends. Plus I would love to see how Thomas and Martha Wayne were when they were alive. Then the drama eventually of Gordon finding out his friends were murdered and little Bruce being raised by Alfred. Wonder if they would go the route of the Joker being the mobster who killed Bruce’s parents like the 80s movie did? I also think it could work for some of the villains to be introduced before Bruce becomes Batman too.

  8. Joey says:

    This is good news about the show. Hope the writers will make the show good.

  9. But WHEN does it take place? Today? The 90’s? The 80’s? The 70’s? Is it Batman Begins in 2014/2015? If it took place in the 80’s, that would be fantastic.

  10. Jo says:

    It’s going to be a cartoon. I may cry now.

  11. Supernatural Fan says:

    sooooooo……smallville all over again?

    • netros says:

      Stop complaining idiots.

      This show is about Detective Gordon, having a young bruce wayne is a very good bonus and there will also be many batman villains. Just be happy we have more comic book shows. Well this will likely be better than agents of shield, be thankful.

      • Liam says:

        But the show just doesn’t sound interesting. The ‘young Bruce Wayne’ thing just makes it the same thing Smallville did, but making even less sense (so, what, he’ll disappear for a few seasons, return when he’s older, then become Batman at the end?) as well as being just an uninteresting idea, and the classic villains wouldn’t make sense without being messed up, since a lot of them require Batman to be present (Joker and, by extension, Harley Quinn, won’t be able to appear, as will Two Face, or Ra’s Al Ghul and Talia (who’re only interested in Gotham because of Bruce), and many more) and they’d need to be nerfed to make it possible for Gordon to fight them. Not only that, Gotham is supposed to be incredibly corrupt before Batman showed up, so it’d just be a cop show with a lot of corrupt cops and one good cop, using the Batman license.

        There’s a lot more interesting ideas for Shows DC could be pushing (hey, anyone remember that Wonder Woman show they were pitching that now got shot down?), and more interesting ideas for a Batman show. I wouldn’t mind a show focusing on Gordon, but I’d rather it be during the ‘present’, with Batman already established and making frequent appearances, showing the general going-ons in the GCPD as they deal with their side of Batman’s outings, but doing it before Batman puts his cape on doesn’t sound interesting at all.

  12. Shunda1177 says:

    I LOVE the idea but I wish it was on HBO or something like that. I’ve watched Smallville and am now enjoying Arrow. But Gotham City was always a much darker place and I don’t think regular TV will do it justice.

  13. Fernanda says:

    DC’s Agents of Gotham, period. By the way, if FOX and DC are teaming again, does it mean there will be finally come to the reality the classic Batman series from the 60s on dvd or blu ray?

  14. Rachel says:

    Cant they leave the series of Batman comics alone for a bit with Nolan’s vision at the end. Im already dreading when Ben has his go. They’re beating the Batman comics to death. I’ll always be a West fan and Nolan’s vision was a brilliant trilogy but Im ready for batman to hang up his cape and leave it in the cave for a few years.

  15. erich says:

    The only villain I see being around is Penguin. I think if Bruce is around he should only be a recurring character and the focus should be on Gordon and Gotham Police. Gordon could be giving Bruce a beginner’s guide to being a detective.

  16. I want Tommy Monaghan to show up in the Gotham TV show.

  17. Liam says:

    So, its Smallville with Batman? Goodie, that’s what we want.

    You know what would honestly be a better series? A Batman TV show about Batman and his partners in crime-fighting. Like, start off with Batman, Robin, and Batgirl, and at about season 1’s finale, have Batgirl get crippled and in season 2 reinvent herself as Oracle, then have Robin move onto being Nightwing and bring in Jason Todd to take over the Robin mantle, then have him die after a season and, after giving them time to grieve, introduce Tim Drake, then introduce Spoiler as Timmy’s semi-love interest and a budding new recruit, then bring in Cass Cain taking over the mantle of Batgirl.

    You know, we’ve seen Batman dosens of times in live action, I want to see his family. I want to see the Robins and Batgirls done right. None of this bat-nipple crap and whatnot, see them done justice like they’ve been in the comics and cartoons shows since then.

  18. Michael says:

    Somebody saaaaaaaaave meeeeeee….from this series!

  19. Michael says:

    This is a bad idea

  20. Jared says:

    This new series sounds good. A younger Bruce Wayne at age 12. We don’t know much about his live at a young age. Even if the show follows the life of James Gordon to have a young Bruce Wayne will be good. It is just a matter of casting him correctly. If it could happen have this new series depute or have an inter twine story in the show Arrow depending on the network, but if this show will be on fox intertwining with a CW show may not be possible.
    Who will play a young Bruce Wayne all the best kid actors seen these day have all grown up and those that are still young would not fit the role properly.

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