TCA Tidbits: Gotham

We’re gearing up to cover Gotham this fall and after this morning’s TCA panel, I can’t wait for the premiere. If you’re already counting down the days or still on the fence as to whether you’ll be tuning in, here are some tidbits from the session that included EP Bruno Heller, EP/Director Danny Cannon, and cast members Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Robin Lord Taylor, Camren Bicondova and Cory Michael Smith.

  • Heller said that they front loaded the pilot with the best villans in the Batman mythology to open big, but there will be a slower rollout in future episodes.
  • McKenzie shared that he brought some of the training and knowledge from his experience on Southland to Gotham. In Gotham, they are dealing in a heightened world in which they are taking certain liberties with the way police work is handled.
  • One of the main forces driving this show is how do you deal with crime at this level when there are no superheroes. There are only mortal men and women up against these villains as they wait for a “saviour.” Heller stated “THAT is the more interesting story.”
  • Gordon is the moral centre in this world. He’s the guy that creates Batman, gives him permission to exist, and accepts this dark vigilante.
  • Gotham is not a whole new mythology. Heller stated that mythology exists when so many stories are created that none can be constant with each other. He added that it “won’t break the canonical, iron truths of the Batman story,” but it will play with other aspects in a fun way.
  • Heller commented that “it’s a sad thing when you can only build tension by killing people.” I thought this was a great sentiment since so many series raise the stakes by ending a character’s life.
  • They there is something compelling about a great city that falls apart, and viewers will find this in Gotham.
  • With so many villains, James Gordon will always have a nemesis. The series is about the power struggle and who is in charge in Gotham.
  • Camren Bicondova mentioned that at this point, Selina Kyle has no clue that she’ll become Catwoman. She is reading the comics to learn who Selina Kyle is and figure out her pathway to becoming Catwoman.
  • Cory Michael Smith is reading the comic books, and not watching on-screen portrayals of The Riddler. He said that the psychology of the character itself is interesting, and likes to take an approach that’s driven by medical research.
  • Robin Lord Taylor has watched both Danny DeVito’s and Burgess Meredith’s turns as The Penguin many times. These are two iconic actors with very different portrayals and approaches. He didn’t read the comics as a kid but is researching them now.
  • Heller mentioned that “if there is a superhero in this show, it’s Gotham.” The city is larger than life. It’s about people trying to overcome real problems instead of learning to fly. He doesn’t think that Batman fans will back away from it. The origin stories are important because they allow you to see the genesis and evolution of these characters.
  • Jada Pinkett-Smith said that Fish Mooney is so different from any of her other roles. She had a lot of guidance from Bruno and Danny on their vision and the creation of this character. She wanted to do this series because it was going to be such an incredible challenge.

Image Courtesy of TCA

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