Batman, prepare yourself for the “Smallville” treatment.
During their Television Critics Association panel this week, Fox executives revealed their plans for “Gotham,” the network’s upcoming DC Comics-based TV series centered on the early adventures of Commissioner James Gordon. But Gordon isn’t the only Batman fixture lined up for “Gotham,” as Fox chairman Kevin Reilly revealed that Bruce Wayne and many of his most famous villains have roles as well.
“The show will arc a young Bruce Wayne from a child (around 12) into the final episode of the series, when he will put on the cape,” said Reilly, according to Deadline. On the subject of villains, Reilly added, “We will see how they get to become who they are as Gotham is teetering on the edge.”
Specific characters mentioned during the presentation include the Penguin, the Riddler and Catwoman — all three of whom are marquee Batman names, not just C-list rogues. It looks like Fox plans to break out the big guns with “Gotham,” even if they aren’t quite ready to go all-in on a Batman-focused story.
While they’re batting around villains to include on “Gotham,” here are a few classic Batman rogues we’d want to see on the show, given what we know of the premise:
Scarface & The Ventriloquist
Arnold Wesker suffers from multiple personality disorder. One of those personalities manifests in the form of Scarface, a puppet with the look and attitude of a 1950s Tommy-gun-shooting gangster. The ’50s aesthetic might not work out so well for “Gotham,” but given the series’ focus on a 12-year-old Bruce, we could easily see a 12-year-old Arnold turning a Scarface action figure into a lethal weapon.
As one of Bruce’s oldest childhood friends, Tommy “Hush” Elliot has plenty of reason to appear on “Gotham,” even if it takes a while for him to adopt his murderous alter-ego. Batman’s bandaged nemesis first appeared in Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee’s acclaimed 2003 run, but he’s yet to receive the live-action treatment. “Gotham,” fix that.
If only to see the scene where Ivy gets her plant-like powers during a high school chemistry class gone wrong. There are other reasons, but that’s the big one.
Speaking of Ivy, how about her “Batman & Robin” cohort? We’re a long way from that 1997 disaster, so any and all Arnold Schwarzeneggerisms can and should be cast aside in favor of a more serious approach to Victor Fries. Perhaps we could see him as Bruce’s high school science teacher, or something similar.
Because there is never enough Man-Bat.
Which Batman villains do you want to see on the “Gotham” TV series?