While Marvel has enjoyed a stellar run of box-office success since launching their inter-connected movie universe with Iron Man in 2008, the DC Movie Universe is only now finally on its feet, thanks to the big success of last year’s Superman reboot Man of Steel.
We won’t see the DCU expand until 2015’s Batman vs. Superman, but DC’s television world appears to be several degrees healthier than Marvel’s, when one compares the still-shaky Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to the CW’s ratings hit Arrow. DC’s small-screen world will continue to grow with CW’s The Flash as well as Fox’s Gotham series (previously thought to be called Gotham Central), which will focus on a younger version of perennial Batman ally James Gordon.
Created and written by Bruno Heller (The Mentalist), the Gotham pilot now has a director. According to Deadline, veteran television producer and director Danny Cannon will helm the pilot and serve as executive producer on presumably the show as a whole, which landed a series commitment at Fox following a bidding war.
Cannon, who directed the 1995 Judge Dredd film starring Sylvester Stallone, has directed pilots and executive produced for a batch of shows, including all the CSI series and CW’s Nikita, as well as helming pilots for short-lived series like Alcatraz, The Forgotten, and Dark Blue.
Tapping a TV veteran like Cannon is a strong indication that Gotham is getting major attention from Fox, and puts the network in the interesting position of airing a series focusing on one of the most famous and beloved comic book universes, but which will not feature its main character, Batman.
Or will it? We know that the producers intend to include a ten-year-old Bruce Wayne, and the show may open in the aftermath of Thomas and Martha Wayne’s murders, but there’s always a chance that Warner Bros. could use the show as an opportunity to indirectly flesh out the back-story of their rebooted Batman, played by Ben Affleck. Gotham will not directly cross-over with Arrow or The Flash, but fans starved for all things Bat-related will likely welcome this project as a novel way to keep Gotham City alive in our imaginations as we await Batman vs. Superman.
We still have no word as to who will play James Gordon or when the show will premiere, but with a proven director like Danny Cannon behind the camera for at least the pilot episode, Gotham sounds more intriguing than ever, and we should expect casting updates to surface soon enough.
Gotham is in development and will air on Fox.