Fox 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.
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.