Despite existing in the same world and including young Bruce Wayne as one of the characters, "Gotham" will never feature Batman. Making this statement was none other than series creator Bruno Heller himself who stressed that the focus on the show was not superheroes.
"If there is a superhero in the show, it is Gotham," he said at the TCA summer press tour. "That's a larger than life character that's a central part of the show. To me, heroes are more interesting than superheroes because the difference is superheroes do the impossible and drama is really about the physically possible. This is about people and people trying to overcome real problems versus trying to learn how to fly."
Insisting that "Batman won't appear" as a fully formed superhero, Heller claimed, "For me, the really interesting parts of this story are the origin stories of all the characters. As soon a you're into capes and costumes, it's less interesting than seeing how these people got there."
He added that although there were "villains running around Gotham," the city wasn't that helpless without the Caped Crusader. "[It's a story of] how do you deal with crime of this level when there are no superheroes?" he said, "When ordinary men and women are dealing with the struggle waiting for a savior. It's about men and women and not about superheroes and that's the more interesting story."
Responding to recent rumor that "Gotham" would feature a character which would be later be revealed as Joker, Heller said, "We will be playing with... Not just with Joker." He added, "Certainly the Joker is a good example. In the pilot, you see there's a comedian there. People immediately leap."
"Yeah, we'll play with that down the line. Not over the course of one season, no, because people will still get tired of that. 'Is that the Joker? Is that the Joker?' No. In a subtle way, we'll be doing that and hopefully we'll fool them in the end."
On why Poison Ivy has a different name, Ivy Pepper instead of Pamela Isley, while the other characters have the same name as in the comics, Heller explained, "It's really about being able to tell the secret histories of these stories. If you just re-tell stories exactly as they've been told before, whilst you're being true to the created mythology, you're not really adding anything to it. So you have to find ways of finding more."
He went on sharing, "And in this case, we've set up a situation in which Ivy Pepper, her mom is sick, her dad is dead... She's going to go to the orphanage. And she's a nice young girl; relatively undamaged. And she will find people to adopt her. And then we will start on the Poison Ivy story that people are familiar with."
"Gotham", starring Benjamin Mckenzie as James Gordon and Donal Logue as his mentor Detective Harvey Bullock, will debut Monday, September 22 at 8 P.M. on FOX. The show will invade Comic-Con International in San Diego on Saturday, July 26 as part of WB/DC presentation.