This Fall, FOX launches “Gotham,” a brand new take on the origin of Batman that focuses on Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), the man who will eventually become the mustachioed pillar of justice known as Commissioner Gordon, instead of the Dark Knight.
And though the series, which already has a full season order, doesn’t premiere for a few months, we were lucky enough to check out a screening of the show with members of the cast and crew late last night (June 12).
With that in mind, here’s every (spoiler-free) thing you need to know about whether you should visit “Gotham” City:
1. This Should Be Called “Penguin: Origins”
By far the best thing about the pilot is Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepott, the man who will later become one of Batman’s greatest enemies: the Penguin. Taylor is superb and transfixing in the role, down to his yellow teeth, creepy laugh and weird, freckled face.
In real life, the actor is adorable and charming, but on screen he conveys joy, menace and has one of the best bits of hand acting we’ve ever seen. There are a lot of things to like about the show, but Taylor makes it a must watch.
2. It’s Iconic
This isn’t too much of a spoiler for anyone who knows Batman lore, or has ever seen any Batman movie, ever, but: probably the most iconic moment in the character’s history is repeated here, where young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) watches his parents killed in front of him. In fact, this mystery is the focal point of the pilot, and — it seems — much of the series going forward.
But a moment like that you don’t want to get wrong, and the team on “Gotham” nails it, down to framing things just like in the comics.
6. The Comics Connection
Johns, besides writing DC Comics, is also Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment, and the man responsible for helping usher “Gotham” to television. Happily, his hands are all over the show, as we found out talking to cast-members after the premiere. Johns hasn’t met them all, but he has spoken to them on the phone to offer tips and words of encouragement.
Possibly an even bigger influence, for those worried “Gotham” might ignore the books the show is based on? I was told that the writers room is chock full of books. And in particular, the currently running Riddler storyline in DC’s “Batman” comic titled “Zero Year” is a huge influence on where that character is going.
7. Riddle Me This
“Zero Year,” for those who aren’t up on their comic book reading, tells the story of a young Batman fighting his first big villain after The Riddler takes over Gotham City, cutting it off from the outside world until someone (read: Batman) can beat him in a riddle contest.
Will we see this storyline play out during season one? Actually, the cast has no idea, as they don’t start filming for another two weeks. But Cory Michael Smith, who plays Edward Nygma, wants to put it off for as long as possible. He’s currently a forensic scientist and amateur riddle aficionado for the Gotham City Police Department when we meet him, and as he told us, “I just keep telling the writers, let me be good for a little while!”
Also probably not happening anytime soon? Green spandex with question marks all over. Whew.
9. Gotham Central
Another book connection, Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen — two characters who anchored the police-centric comic series “Gotham Central” — are front and center in the pilot, played by Victoria Cartegena and Andrew Stewart-Jones respectively.
And they’re both incredibly faithful to their four-color origins. Incredibly faithful. Like, if you’ve read any comics involving Renee Montoya, they are very faithful, and in an extremely surprising way that ties her to one of the other characters — something that will be a bit of a shock to long-time fans of the comics.
“Gotham” premieres on FOX this Fall.
summary of the other six: gordon and bullock are awesome, shot on location in gotham new york, alfred is based on alfred in batman: earth one, joker might be in pilot, arrow easter egg, fish mooney.
other 6 @ source