The creative team behind new series ‘Gotham’ – which features Bruce Wayne as a young boy – have revealed it won’t connect to the big-screen version of the character.
The show stars Ben McKenzie as rookie cop James Gordon, navigating his way through a corrupt city that is starting to spawn some of the legendary Batman villains.
“’Gotham’ is its own show compared to the ‘Batman v Superman’ films,” Geoff Johns, chief creative officer of DC Entertainment, tells us. “They are separate.”
"The character [of Batman] is very elastic, he’s been seen in every medium. Think of it like the Multiverse [which is] actually inherently part of the core DNA of DC Comics.”
That doesn’t mean ‘Gotham’ is set on Earth 2, but don’t expect Batfleck to echo anything they’re doing on the small screen.
“We’re lucky in that we’re so much of a prequel,” says executive producer Danny Cannon. “You’ve got to interpret these stories yourself. You don’t change people’s backstories enormously if they already have one, but at the same time you can’t be too precious or the franchise won’t move forward. This thing has survived with many audiences because it always remains relevant and relatable. My question was: what makes a criminal paint his face and walk out in broad daylight?”
The first season of the show has already set up a number of pre-transformation bad guys to be pursued by Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), including Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin (played by Robin Lord Taylor) and Edward Nygma, later known as The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith).
Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) has also lost his parents and is being cared for by Alfred (Sean Pertwee), who in this version is a former Royal Marines commando.
Jeremy Irons is playing the Bruce’s loyal valet in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice’, but Pertwee admits they haven’t talked. “I have no idea what the wonderful Mr Irons is doing,” he says. “The idea [for me] was not to look too deeply into the books or previous films.”
Not only that, but Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy doesn’t hang over the production of ‘Gotham’.
“It’s different from the Nolan films because you’re going to a place in the past,” says Ben McKenzie, who actually voiced the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in an animated version of ‘Batman: Year One’. “The way it was described to me was New York in the 1970s with the dial turned up to 11.”
“I’d equate [‘Gotham’] much more to ‘Game Of Thrones’,” explains Johns. “It’s a lot of characters weaving in and out and some of the characters that might appear minor at first will become major characters. You can never know quite where to look to find the next big villain or hero. It’s not as traditionally laid out as you might be picturing.”
So that means no moustache for James Gordon – at least for the time being.
"I promise you right now if the show goes for 20 years, you’ll get a moustache,” says McKenzie. “You earn the moustache.”
As for Johns, it would be remiss if we didn’t at least try to get some information out of him about ‘Dawn Of Justice’. But don’t worry, he’s not giving any spoilers.
“It’s huge and Zack [Snyder is] deep into it,” he says. “You’re going to see not only Batman and Superman together on the big screen for the very first time ever, but also Wonder Woman. I think she’s long past due to be on the silver screen. Those facts alone, I can’t wait for people to see it.”
‘Gotham’ starts tonight at 9pm on Channel 5. ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is released on 25 March, 2016.
Photos: 20th Century Fox/Everett/Rex