“Gotham,” Fox’s upcoming crime drama that presents origin stories of many classic Batman characters, will be more of a crime noir than a superhero show.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour, “Gotham” executive producer Bruno Heller said: “This is noir. The structure that exists around James Gordon is so daunting and challenging, that no single man can defeat it. The notion is that our hero is doomed. ‘Gotham’ is as much about the hope and struggle that everyday people are engaged in, it’s not about superheroes.
“There will be victories along the way. We talked about New York City in the 1970s. It’s a time when that city was falling apart with decadence and decay. It was both sexy and scary. There’s something about a city as it falls apart that you’re compelled to watch.”
The show is a “Greek tragedy,” according to Ben McKenzie, who plays the lead role of Detective James Gordon.
“The fate comes in the first act,” McKenzie said. “The series is about the interesting journey and how the city falls in disrepair and total anarchy.”
Resembling “Gotham Central,” the classic DC comic book, “Gotham” follows James Gordon in his early years at the Gotham City Police Department, depicting the rise of organized crime and masked vigilantism in the corrupt city.
In addition to McKenzie, the show stars Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock (Gordon’s partner), Zabryna Guevara as the captain of the GCPD’s homicide squad, Jada Pinkett Smith as mob boss Fish Mooney, David Mazouz as a young Bruce Wayne and Sean Pertwee as Wayne’s butler Alfred.
Younger incarnations of classic Batman villains will also appear, including Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin (played by Robin Lord Taylor), Edward Nygma/the Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) and Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Camren Bicondova).
Heller also commented on the difficulty of maintaining tension in a show when the audience already knows what becomes of the characters, saying: “It’s a sad thing when you can’t bring tension by killing people. One of the show’s great advantages with this world is that people know where it’s going, there are people who are invested in the story.”
“Gotham” is set to premiere Sept. 22 on Fox.