Gotham for those of you who don’t watch it is a prequel series to Batman. Set not long after Bruce Wayne loses his parents, the series depicts the early life and origins of such iconic characters as the Penguin, Catwoman, The Riddler and even the Joker, though unlike Smallville however the hero whose mythology it focuses on Bruce Wayne is not the main protagonist of the series. Instead Commissioner Gordon is the main character, though the question of who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents is still a major story arc throughout the first and second seasons.
Gotham has proven so far to be a massive hit and with a third series set to air in the Autumn, Gotham’s future certainly looks secure so it might seem a little bit odd to be talking about a sequel to the series when the original is just hitting its stride.
Still hear me out here I think that Gotham could be the start of a very big franchise that lasts for possibly 20 or so years. I realise that is unlikely given DC’s love for rebooting things but still I’m going to say why I think it would be good to see Gotham expand out ito a franchise anyway.
Okay then to start with I shall say how I’d like to see the hypothetical Gotham franchise go.
I’d like to see Gotham go on for another two years until say 2018. I don’t think they should try and spin it out for 10 years as I don’t think its ever a good idea to spin a prequel out for too long and at the rate they are going with introducing villains like the Riddler and Mr Freeze they will be in danger of having all the interesting stuff happen before Bruce becomes Batman.
Thus I’d like to see 2, 3 at the absolute most more seasons of Gotham taking us into 2019.
After that in 2020 I’d like to see a sequel series that revolves around Batman. By this point David Mazouz will be 19 and therefore old enough to play Batman. I’d like to see the Batman series then run for 5 years taking us up to 2025.
Following this we can then have a Justice League tv series that runs for another five years taking us up to 2030 after which we can then have a Batman Beyond series. By this point Mazouz will be in his late twenties. Obviously not old enough to play the elderly Bruce Wayne from Beyond so we would probably need to recast it. You might be able to still have Mazouz play the role under old age make up, but I still think it would be too much of a stretch to have a 29 year old play an 89 year old and it not look naff.
Now the reasons I want this to happen are that I think it would be brilliant to see Bruce Wayne’s whole story unfold almost in real time. Think of how great it would be to see this version to go from a young boy confused and scared at the loss of his parents to the great detective to eventually an almost intergalactic hero helping the Justice League battle villains such as Darkseid to finally an embittered old man who later in his final few years manages to help create another hero who will carry on his legacy.
It would also be interesting to see the Joker develop across all of these different series too. We’d see him start out as just a petty psycho in Gotham and then not only become more dangerous but also completely obsessed with destroying Batman to the point where it would culminate in their final vicious battle that we would see in a flashback in Batman Beyond.
There are so many final ends for the Joker that they could draw on. There’s his Return of the Joker ending where he captures and tortures Tim Drake to insanity before being killed by him. There’s his The Dark Knight Returns death where he goes on a massive killing spree provoking Batman to beat him half to death after which the Joker kills himself to make Batman look as though he killed him.
Then there is his ending in the Justice League comic The Nail where the Joker after gaining control of super powered gauntlets uses them to torture Robin and Batgirl to death right in front of Batman, prompting him to kill the villain by snapping his neck.
All of these would make spectacular ends to the Joker on screen. Of course it goes without saying that in this ideal scenario Jerome would be the Joker.
Cameron Monaghan who plays Jerome is exceptional in the role and again it would be brilliant seeing how he would develop this character over time. Imagine how cool it would be going back and looking at the Jerome in the early days and then seeing how he ends up as the most destructive super villain of all time. How his fathers prophecy that children will wake up terrified at the thought of him and that he will bring madness and death to the city comes true.
Monaghan is easily one of the greatest Jokers there has ever been. He has the swagger of Jack Nicholson’s Joker, the twisted humour of Hamill and the anarchy of Ledger. I would love to see him get a chance to act out some of the characters vilest moments from the comics. An adaptation of Emperor Joker in the Justice League series with Monaghan would be amazing!
I think that all of the actors in Gotham have been great so far and I would like to see how all of them would get a chance to develop their characters. To see how Ben McKenszie is able to develop Gordon from a dedicated honest cop struggling in a harsher Gotham to someone who finds a way to combat the evil with the aid of Batman to finally a broken man when he loses his family to the Joker.
I’d love to see them have Jerome/Joker murder Leslie Thompkins like he did Sarah Essen in the comics and then have him either murder or cripple Barbara too.
Also I think if this were a massive ongoing franchise then it might prevent DC from rebooting their franchises all the time. Obviously sometimes franchises need to be rebooted like after Batman and Robin, but at other times it can be detrimental as I feel that they can end up finishing a series before it has a chance to get going.
Also there is a limit to how many times we can keep seeing the same origin story over and over again too. That’s always a problem you run into, but it becomes more noticable when you have like 3 of them in just over 10 years like Spider-Man.
Whilst I don’t think its likely we will see a sequel to Gotham I can always hope. I will say though that even if we never see a sequel to Gotham I hope the series finishes in the next few years.
I don’t think a prequel should ever go on too long. That was my problem with Smallville. Now I liked Smallville overall. It had a great cast, some fabulous writing like the whole Lex/Lionel story arc and it did like all great adaptations add something new to the lore with Lionel Luthor and Chloe Sullivan, two fantastic characters created for the series having been integrated into the comics.
However having said that my biggest issue with Smallville is that it went on too long. It became ridiculous that it was still meant to be a prequel series after about season 5.
By the end of the series Clark Kent had already done all the things he is supposed to do as Superman BEFORE he has become Superman.
He’s killed Darkseid, he’s killed Bizarro, he’s sealed Doomsday in the earth’s core where he will never get out (and even if he does well he bested Doomsday as a twenty something with minimal effort in about 3 seconds so its not like he is going to be a threat again is it?)
He’s also permanently defeated Brainiac too. Also he has formed the Justice League, he’s gotten together with Lois and revealed his identity to her, he is living in Metropolis, he’s even established himself as a superhero vigilante the Red/Blue blur. So what the fuck is left?
Lex I suppose, but even then Lex’s memory has been wiped so everything that happened to him in Smallville that was supposed to shape him into the villain he became. So really as a prequel Smallville completely fails. Its from season 5 on not superman the early years its just Superman except he calls himself the blur and he doesn’t fly.
Smallville would have been better if he had become Superman after the first episode of season 6 when he beat Zod and the show was renamed Superman the Early Years. That would have been fine, but the fact that it was still trying to be him before he became superman yet having him do everything that he did when he was Superman, marrying Lois Lane, living in Metropolis, fighting Darkseid it was just ridiculous.
I hope the makers of Gotham don’t go the same way and have The Riddler, Mr Freeze, Catwoman, Hugo Strange, and The Penguin all die before Bruce Wayne puts on the Bat suit and have Bruce Wayne become another hero called say the dark cape for about 5 years before deciding to become Batman. That would just completely ruin one of the best things about this series that we are seeing all of these iconic characters in their early years so even if it doesn’t get a sequel I hope that Gotham doesn’t go on too long like Smallville.
Thanks for reading.