Bruno Heller, the showrunner on FOX’s “Gotham,” appeared at the Edinburgh Television Festival and dropped some interesting comments that have gotten some fanboys upset.
Heller, who has some serious TV credentials behind him including HBO’s “Rome” and the long running procedural “The Mentalist,” spoke about the Batman prequel series ahead of its third season premiere and says that the focus of the show is about both Jim Gordon and the young Bruce Wayne for good reason:
“I don’t think superheroes work very well on TV, probably because of the costume thing. TV is about real people and faces, and not so much about magic and the supernatural things. [Gotham] has to be both a crime procedural and a mythic, epic, grand comic book saga. It’s a tricky combination, because you have to keep it real and unreal at the same time.”
Reaction pieces to the quotes have been quick to point out the range of superhero shows on the air having successful runs from The CW’s DC universe like “The Flash” and “Arrow” to Marvel and Netflix’s successful “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones”. So who exactly does Heller write the show for then, comic fans or a more general audience less willing to accept the appeal of costumed vigilantes?
“The comic book constituency has become so large and visible with the whole Comic-Con thing that it is very easy to assume that the audience is purely comic book enthusiasts. But I operate the show on the basis that it is a mistake to just go there. What we are trying to do is always give little Easter eggs, little gifts every episode to the real cognoscenti, but you don’t need to know more than the basic Batman myth.”
The show kicks off its third season shortly and Heller says the plan is to keep getting crazier year upon year:
“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. [In Season 3] Gordon becomes a bounty hunter, looking for those monsters that escaped. What’s fun to write is the morale and sort of psychological collapse of Gordon.”
“Gotham” returns to screens next month.