To promote Fox’s upcoming entry to the DC Universe, Gotham, the show has released plenty of trailers, TV spots, promotional images, behind the scene videos, and even debuted the pilot to audiences as San Diego Comic-Con this summer. While the pilot may have its problems (too many strong hints toward the future and less-than-stellar performances), Gotham still manages to be one of the most anticipated new shows of the Fall television season.
Additionally, rumors and confirmations of which DC characters will be included on the series have helped to keep the discussion going around Gotham – Hugo Strange and Harvey Dent are confirmed while Dr. Freeze will eventually appear. As the show’s official premiere date draws closer, extended previews have been released featuring the cast and crew of the series discussing the ins and outs of Gotham’s seedy underbelly and origin stories.
Two recently released previews for Gotham feature 13 minutes of interviews with the cast and crew as well as some new footage from the upcoming DC drama. Writer Bruno Heller, Chief Creative Officer for DC Entertainment Geoff Johns, and director Danny Cannon along with cast members Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Robin Lord Taylor, and Jada Pinkett Smith talk about the new origins of old characters.
The first video (above), subtitled “Mythic Beginnings,” delves into how the idea for Gotham came to fruition. According to Cannon, much of the creative development of the characters came from looking at their well-known incarnations and asking how they became those villains or those heroes. Heller says the whole idea behind the series was to put a new twist on established characters.
Read Heller’s quote:
“The idea for this show came from trying to find a fresh way into the DC mythology and it seemed like the perfect place to start was the city of Gotham.”
McKenzie, Logue, Taylor, and Pinkett offer insight into what it was like playing their characters – either portraying a well-known role like Jim Gordon (“daunting,” “a little bit scary” “but thrilling,” according to McKenzie) or developing a new villain such as Pinkett’s Fish Mooney.
With characters at the heart of Gotham, Geoff Johns says the series will feature plenty of character development:
“We might meet a character who we think is the nicest character in the world and they turn out to be the worst villain in all of Gotham city. Or vice versa, we might meet somebody that’s completely corrupt and by the end of this they’re one of the most heroic people. You can never tell in Gotham; it changes people.”
Although there is very little mystery in terms of some characters (fans know how Bruce Wayne, Edward Nygma, and Oswald Cobblepot will turn out), the first video offers brief flashes of new characters not previously seen in promos for Gotham.
The second video (above), “A City on the Edge,” features the cast and crew discussing the state of Gotham city when the series begins. In the middle of a crime wave, the Waynes are murdered and Gordon is the cop on the case. However, the murder has far reaching consequences for the people of Gotham – especially, according to Heller, the underground political infrastructure of the city:
“The Waynes were very important people in Gotham city, so their death creates a power vacuum that is filled by various people with rather less philanthropic notions of how to run Gotham.”
The murder of the Waynes sets up plenty of tension between various aspects of the city: the Falcone and Maroni families, Fish Mooney and the police, Gotham Police Department with the Major Crimes unit, and Gordon with the corrupt organized crime element. At the center of everything is Cobblepot, who will use the Waynes’ murder as an opportunity to gain power.
The second preview also gives fans a first look at Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) and her relationship with her fiancé, Gordon. She is a member of Gotham’s high society and, we learn in the video, she keeps secrets from her fiancé.
Fox seems to be throwing a lot of effort into promoting Gotham. Whether that’s a good or bad sign remains to be seen. All the promotional effort seems to mean Fox has really gotten on board with Gotham and wants the show to be a success (which hasn’t always the case in the past, such as with Almost Human).
However, the danger of releasing too much within the previews lies in not being able to surprise or keep audiences hooked once the series premieres. Certainly, this is more of a danger for movies (the worry that all the good jokes/scenes are in the trailer) and television has more air time to win over audiences, but Gotham seems to have released a lot of preview footage, especially from the pilot.
Whether Gotham has released too much footage may not matter, though, if the series establishes interesting and compelling story/character arcs. However, we won’t know how Gotham stands out after the pilot until the series officially premieres in a few weeks.
Gotham premieres Monday, September 22nd, 2014 @8pm on Fox.