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Fox's Gotham will feature young, classic Batman villains and a preteen Bruce Wayne who isn't Batman yet

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When news first broke of Fox’s Gotham, the natural comparison seemed to be Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (or, going further back, Birds Of Prey) for its promise to concentrate on the Batman-adjacent stories of a young Jim Gordon and the city he’s tasked with protecting, at least until Batman stops being a little kid. But according to new details from Fox president Kevin Reilly, the more fitting analogue would seem to be Smallville.

“We will arc a young Bruce Wayne from a child [around 12 years old] until he puts on a cape [in the series finale],” Reilly said at today’s TCA presentation, clarifying that Gotham—which already has a series commitment under Mentalist producer Bruno Heller and Tomorrow People director Danny Cannon—is “not some adjunct companion series,” but rather an origin series for the entire Batman franchise. It’s just an origin series that happens to take place adjunct to the timeline in which Batman is Batman and necessarily focusing on people who aren’t Batman, such as his companions.


Naturally, that also means including classic Batman villains—including the Penguin, the Riddler, and Catwoman, all of whom Reilly says viewers can expect to “see how they become what they are,” while also seeing how Bruce Wayne goes through puberty, before he ever even thinks about doing anything about those villains. Reilly didn’t clarify whether this means the Riddler et al. would also be preteens; to get the whole story, one would probably need to go back and see what Kevin Reilly was like as a kid.

[Image via Costume-Works.com]