5/11/14

Gotham, sans Batman: the TV series. This is a thing now.

5/11/14
Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the coolest, most interesting thing about the whole Batman universe, was, um, Batman.

Granted, there are other, cool things going on in the Batman universe besides Batman, but he's like the whole point of the thing. Not anymore it seems.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: My assumption has been that the reason this TV show can be done — rights-wise — is because Batman himself is not in it. That way, it doesn’t overlap with any films. Is that correct?

BRUNO HELLER: Certainly from Warner Bros. and DC’s business point of view, that’s why it can be done. For me, if they said, “Do Batman,” I would have said, “No.” I would have not been interested at all. I don’t think Batman works very well on TV — to have people behind masks. Frankly, all those superhero stories I’ve seen, I always love them until they get into the costume. And then it’s, “Oh, okay, they’ve ascended, they’ve stopped becoming humans.” It’s their apotheosis. They go to heaven and they’re Superman. There have been so many great versions of it. This is a version of something else entirely.
Those were sort of my first thoughts too, upon seeing the trailer--that Batman is too big for TV, and it probably has something to do with the rights. But after the wow-they're-really-doing-this-thing shock/interest wore off, I started imagining Batman movies without Batman. And all the potential coolness I initially hoped for, vanished.

Perhaps I just lack imagination. Maybe they'll pull it off:
When reading your script, I kept thinking how difficult this must have been to write — there’s so many tough decisions that need to be made, so many ways to do this idea wrong. How did you decide the tone, how realistic vs. comic, which villains you would use? Can you talk me through the creative process?

The first thing was starting with Jim Gordon, who is the most human and real and normal person in the DC pantheon. What would the city of Gotham look like to a young rookie cop coming into this world? And that’s where we calibrated. This is a world that’s going to become that familiar world of Batman, but it’s not there yet. It’s an embryo. A lot of the work was reverse engineering the story to look at what these characters were like when they younger. Penguin, for instance, is not a powerful gang leader, he’s a gofer for a gangster. It’s about giving the world room to grow, but at the same time giving the fun and pleasure and drama of that heightened world. One of the great things about the Batman world is [the characters] have no super powers. Nobody flies or leaps over buildings. You start with psychology and that’s where we build from.
So it's going to be a cop show in Gotham city. That's either good, or really bad.

If it's Gotham City: The Wire, hell yeah! It would make my day to watch Jim Gordon and his rag-tag group of mostly straight cops navigating the corrupt waters of the system, whilst trying to take out bad guys, not infrequently bumping into future Batman villains.

If it's Law and Order: Gotham, no thanks, I've got to keep a sharp eye on my Florida paint drying and my Death Valley grass growing.

Link via Ace, who warns: "Coming soon: Jimmy Olsen, Boy Reporter."
I hope not.

 

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