On September 24th, Deadline reported that Fox had won a bidding war with other television networks to produce Gotham, a series from Warner Bros. and The Mentalist‘s creator Bruno Heller. Interestingly, the project is skipping the pilot stage and a full series has already been ordered. As the project’s name implies, the series will be set in Gotham City, the fictional hometown of Batman, but it will not be featuring the Caped Crusader. Instead of a Batman TV show, it will be focusing on a younger version of the future Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon.
This is the first Batman TV series in quite a long time, although WB-TV has been trying to get on the air for years. A few years ago there were rumors of a new show focusing on Dick Grayson’s family being developed, but nothing ever came of it.
In this new Batman TV series, Jim Gordon will still be a member of the GCPD, but working as a street detective, long before he meets Batman. We will also get to see the origin stories of the villains who make Gotham infamous. This will be a particularly interesting angle for the story, because most modern DC stories have presented the emergence of the villains were caused by the arrival of Batman, and not before.
However, Batman’s rogues gallery is much larger than you’d think, and there’s plenty of potential for them to mine from. While we may not be seeing the Joker anytime soon, they could easily use lesser-known villains like the serial-killers Mr. Zsasz or the Calendar Man, along with the Gotham crime families like the Falcones and Maronis.
To be quite honest, I’ve been feeling rather fatigued by all the Batman related material for a while now. It just doesn’t seem to stop. Not only do we have Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, but we also have the Arkham video games, a new Batman animated series, as well as the original comics. Then of course we’ll be seeing Batman vs Superman in a few years time. As much as I love the Batman character, I’d prefer to see characters like Blue Beetle, Aquaman, Shazam, and other underrated heroes get the spotlight for a change.
Having said that, I do like the idea of this new Gotham series, since it’ll focus more on Gordon and the city before Bruce Wayne inevitably returns to become Batman. If they handle it right, they could adapt some of the elements from Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One miniseries, where Gordon struggles with being one of the few honest cops in the city, as well as dealing with his attraction to his partner, Sarah Essen. The possibilities are practically endless, and it could be a great product if it’s executed correctly.
What do you think about this new Batman TV series? Are you excited to see more adventures from the Batman universe? Would you prefer to see other DC heroes get the spotlight more? Why don’t you just tell us what you think in the comments below?