At the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Gotham producer and showrunner Bruno Heller (The Mentalist, Rome) talked about bringing the larger than life superheroes and supervillains of the popular Fox series to the small screen. The Hollywood Reporter was there to cover the event.
“I don’t think superheroes work very well on TV,” Heller said, “Probably because of the costume thing”. He explained that the trick to making the show was “to keep it real and unreal at the same time”, in order to please both comic book fans and people who are less familiar with the world of Batman.
That’s why Gotham focuses on future police commissioner James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), as opposed to the Caped Crusader himself. “TV is about real people and and faces, and not so much about magic and the supernatural things”, he said, adding that the show has to work as “both a crime procedural and a mythic, epic, grand comic book saga”.
Heller then went on to discuss the show’s upcoming third season. The season will introduce an adult version of Batman villain Poison Ivy (Maggie Geha), as well as the Alice in Wonderland inspired villain, Mad Hatter.
Heller explained the show’s direction: “Every season is moving towards the world in which Batman has to emerge to save the day. So every season is doubling down on the chaos and anarchy that is overtaking Gotham. So, things keep getting worse”.
This is bad news for determined cop James Gordon, but good news for Heller and his writers. “What’s fun to write is the moral and sort of psychological collapse of Gordon”, he said.
Season 3 of Gotham will premiere September 19th on Fox.