By this point, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone that Fox’s Gotham is going to be introducing more villains as time goes on. After all, the second season has been known as “Rise of the Villains” and now with the second half of the series set to start on February 29th, audiences will be introduced to the “Wrath of the Villains” storyline.
As far as comic book narrative go, the unspoken rule has typically been the more baddies the better – which appears to be a formula well adhered to in upcoming movies like Suicide Squad and even Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Though Gotham doesn’t appear to be planning on changing from its format any time soon, there are changes afoot in terms of what villains will be added, as well as how the criminal element will mesh with the current series.
Speaking with Comic Book, Gotham’s executive producer John Stevens addressed the process of how villains have gradually become “Gotham-ized”.
“I think [the character of] Firefly was someone who, while she can’t fly like the one from the comics, she isn’t wielding guns and knives. She has a Gotham-ized armature. I think Theo Galavan was another baby step toward that world; he had the connection to the Order of St. Dumas, and was a villain that we might not have seen at the beginning of season one. The Maniax were another baby step toward that kind of anarchic pre-Joker type of villain that paves the way.”
Fans of the series have been aware for a while now that the second half of Gotham season 2 will introduce Mr Freeze/Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow) – a villain who, as Stevens points out, is just one of several characters that the Gotham team has been wanting to add to the show’s ensemble. The challenge, however, lies with getting other larger than life Batman villains (like Solomon Grundy and Killer Croc) to mesh with the setting of Gotham, a world that embraces a pulpy yet not necessarily fantastical tone and design, as Stevens noted:
“I feel like those characters are out there, and if we can figure out a way to do them where the reality of our world can stay intact, approach them in a way where people say ‘I can imagine them existing in our world,’ then yes, I’d keep us open to all of those characters. We’re hesitant to go down any mystical routes. If we can solve those riddles ourselves, it’ll be exciting to have those people in our world.”
In the end however, the key element that Stevens says he and his fellow Gotham producers are most interested in maintaining a grounded human element to the backstories of the TV show’s comic book-born characters. By staying true to this, the TV series aims to create interesting parallels between its villains and those who are in charge of combating them.
“We really want our villains to be as human and relatable as possible. We wanted to give Freeze a compressed version of what we gave to someone like Nygma, who we gave an emotional reason to why he became the person he became. We also wanted him to serve as a mirror to what’s going on in Jim and Lee’s life, at the same time. Those coincide together, so that the path Freeze goes down mirrors the path that Jim’s going down, and they sort of go down that together.”
Gotham does appear to be taking its cues from the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, when it comes to the show’s portrayal of Mr. Freeze – including his backstory, in that the character is searching to find a cure for his seemingly terminal-ill wife, Nora (Kristen Hager) on Gotham, too. The character could well prove to be an effective mirror to Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his experiences, what with the latter character now facing the prospect of fatherhood and a new stage in his relationship with Dr. Leslie Thompkins (Morena Baccarin). It’s an approach that seems appropriate for Gotham, given how the show has incorporated villains into its ensemble in the past.
Gotham season 2 resumes on February 29th, 2016 on FOX.
Source: Comic Book