‘Gotham’ To Tease Multiple Joker Actors in Season 1?

Published 3 months ago by , Updated September 17th, 2014 at 12:07 pm,

Gotham TV Show Fox Logo Gotham To Tease Multiple Joker Actors in Season 1?

Only months remain until Batman’s hometown will be brought to life on Fox, as Gotham looks to tell the origin story of some of the Dark Knight’s most famous villains – and most trusted allies. But there is one nemesis that rises above the rest, but fans looking for evidence of a Joker-in-the-making will be given more than one hint in the show’s first season. In fact, the showrunners apparently have several actors in line to keep fans guessing.

There’s no question that Batman is in possession of one of the more sizable and well-known gallery of enemies in comic books, with Gotham – despite not really being a show about Batman – bringing several of them to life in the show’s pilot. Penguin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Riddler – even the Penguin’s mother has been added to the cast, without so much as a whisper about a new take on The Joker.

Understandably, one scene in the show’s first episode – set in the nightclub/cabaret of newly-created crime boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) – featuring a stand-up comic caught the attention of fans. With one of the Joker’s origin stories beginning with a failed career as a comedian, many connected the dots, and assumed that the actor in question (newcomer Jon Beavers) was in line to play the iconic villain.

But with a cameo so under-played – and showrunners clearly aware that fans would make the connection – many (ourselves included) assumed the showrunners were simply playing with their target audience. Now, it seems that is absolutely the case.

Gotham Premiere Joker Comedian Gotham To Tease Multiple Joker Actors in Season 1?

Showrunner Bruno Heller (Rome, The Mentalist) had previously confirmed that The Joker was part of the long-term plan for Gotham, but that it would be a “slow burn” and “carefully-built” reveal. In other words: the exact opposite of casting the role for the pilot episode.

That’s something viewers had better get used to, as BleedingCool reports that such teases are likely to appear on a weekly basis, with a variety of lesser-known actors parading through the proceedings, each posed as a potential Joker. Whether it’s the presence of playing cards, a flowery boutineer, or simply an ear-to-ear grin, the showrunners intend to play with expectations for as long as possible.

At this point, it’s nearly impossible to know exactly what type of spin on the character fans should be on the lookout for; not only have their been multiple versions of the ‘Clown Prince of Crime,’ but the tone of Gotham‘s universe – impossible to tell from one episode – will play a major role in how both he and his origin story are written. Heller has promised a “darker” version along the lines of Heath Ledger’s criminal mastermind, but a new design nonetheless.

Gotham TV Show Joker Actors Gotham To Tease Multiple Joker Actors in Season 1?

“Absolute Joker” as drawn by artist Lee Bermejo

Fans will get their first chance to judge Beavers’ first version for themselves when the pilot episode is aired at Comic-Con, but for the time being, patience will be a useful virtue for eager Gotham fans.

What do you hope to see from a brand new take on Joker? Is a criminal who will grow into the maniacal monster over time an appealing spin, or would you hope to see a psychotic criminal who will need someone like Batman to bring his life purpose?

Gotham premieres on Fox on Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for updates on Gotham, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Source: Bleeding Cool

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TAGS: gotham

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  1. I’m sure i’m not alone when i say i’m uncertain about the inclusion of Joker into “Gotham”. When i initially heard about it i thought it was just Dumb. I don’t think there should be a Joker without a batman. And i have had my fair share of reservations about this show in general.

    This bit of insight however, actually nurtures what little enthusiasm i have for this program. They are playing to the strength of Joker having all these various origins and i think it will be fun to watch it unfold. Still worried the show will be junk but this bit of news at least puts another tally in the Pro’s column.

    • I have my concerns about this show. The Penguin I can understand being involved with the storyline but as far as the Joker I would say only if it’s an orgin story as to how he became the joker. If we are talking full blown joker then I will be turned off by the show. Joker should be around the same age as Bruce to maybe a couple of years older but not much. The more I hear about this show the more I worry that they will try to do too much too soon

      • Even in the new 52 dc comics, Joker’s origin is kept a mystery and tied close to the Dark Knight. He only ever mentions that hearing about the death of Bruce’s parents is what partly inspired his twisted and caotic view of the world. The point I’m trying to get across, is that unless Bruce is all grown up the story shifts to year zero or year one storyline, joker shouldn’t be in this show period.

        • I agree with you but I also agree with Mike in that if Joker HAS to be shoe-horned in, at least they’re not trying to tie him into an origin that could possibly make him a sympathetic character or ruin the mystery he has.

          • To date the only good intepretations of the Joker were the Dark Knight, the batman animated series and the Arkham games. He doesnt need any origin, regardless of what origin they give him, it still won’t be good enough to explain why or how he became so twisted and deranged as to successfully bomb a hospital, rob the mob, hold to ferries hostages and corrupt a good DA official. People will be left thinking, wow??!! really?!?!? that’s why dresses up as a clown and terrorizes and city and harrasses a dude dressed up as a bat?lame.

            • Exactly.

              One of the things I always liked about The Joker is that we genuinely don’t know why he does what he does. The moment someone tries to make an official origin for him is the moment the character becomes worthless.

              It’s like Judge Dredd. He’s written to be the faceless arm of the law that follows things by the book with no deviation and without taking off the helmet. The moment you change any of that, it no longer becomes “Judge Dredd, man of mystery”, it just becomes another one-dimensional character.

              I never liked the “vat of chemicals” origin and the failed comedian was even goofier so honestly, just leave him as a true enigma instead of explaining him, his personality and his motives.

              Like with all great stories, some things are better left unsaid.

              • The vat of chemicals is iconic to his origin as the clown faced psycho but even before that no one knew who he was under the guise of Red Hood.

                • But that’s the thing, the vat of chemicals is iconic but I honestly dismiss that as unreliable narration. If he was under that hood, if he wasn’t, I don’t think anyone actually knows, it could be anyone under there and that’s what I enjoy the most.

                  I dunno, I said it before but I like the idea of not knowing what made him who he is today and dismissing anything that might attempt to explain it.

                  • Dazz you really need to pick up the first issues of Scott Snyder’s zero year. Because the whole ace chemical part of Joker’s origin ends on a wth question, “was that the joker?,no than who?”

                  • The point is – Joker’s white skin, red lips and green hair(uncertain about this last one) are not paint. Its one of the ways Batman can tell if the person is the real Joker. Other than a chemical thing, or maybe some illness, there isn’t many ways he could become that way – that’s why the ‘vat of chemicals’ is the official story people go with.

              • *cough* Vader before the Star Wars Prequals *cough*

            • He did have a definitive origin in DC Animated Universe continuity though. Mask of the Phantasm establishes that he he used to be a mob enforcer named Jack Napier.

            • I don’t think the show will present the actual origin of the joker, because there’s no origin!
              From my point of view, I think that the joker was born sick, like a psycho without a reason.
              The show should be only showing the childhood and story of this villain.
              At least I hope they do, but of course I want to see him as part o the main cast, sounds interesting.

        • I agree. I can only see the Joker as being part of the Batman storyline. No Batman means no Joker for me

        • I guess my point is if you are not going to have Batman in this series then they shouldn’t include the Joker either. He is just as big to the overall storyline and having a grown up Joker when Wayne is still a child wouldn’t make sense to me considering they are about the same age

      • I respectfully disagree. In original series a much older man played joker. In Tim Burton 1989 film Nicholson was much older then Keaton. Only in Nolans version did the ages of joker and batman seem closer (i believe joker was actually YOUNGER in this one) so anything can work. I have to wonder how long the young Bruce Wayne will be around since im guessing is the series lasts eventually wont time have to be fast forwarded to age Bruce so he can become batman?

        Also confusing…its obvious its set in present day due to cell phones being used so why does Gotham PD drive 30 year old Police Cars??????

  2. My one hesitation with relying on Bruno Heller rests in the fact that, by his own admission, he had created The Mentalist, a series revolving around one man’s obsession with catching the villain Red John, with no idea of Red John’s true identity. Hopefully Gotham won’t suffer from similar “making it up as we go” storytelling, otherwise it does a disservice to an extensive rogues gallery and insults the loyalty of the audience.

  3. One thing people need to understand is this.. Batman isn’t going to be in this show. He’s not. Yes its always been Joker-Batman. And yes, you would think since Batman won’t appear, then Joker shouldn’t either. But why in the world would the writers NOT use Gotham’s most famous villain? Since Batman isn’t going to appear, why not create a new backstory (sort of) for the character? Have a young Joker (late teens or early 20′s) terrorizing Gotham? It’s just an idea, but people need to stop whining about his inclusion. This ain’t going in Batman canon and it isn’t going to be connected to the DC cinematic universe, so why not use him?

    • Thing is, those of us who KNOW it won’t connect to the films don’t like the idea of exploring a beloved villain. Like I said a few comments up, Joker works better when we don’t have an origin for him. He’s a force of nature, an unexplainable anomaly and it would do the character a disservice to create an origin for him.

      He’s claimed to be a failed comedian that fell into chemicals and he’s claimed other things but he’s an unreliable narrator (one of my favourite tropes from mystery novels by the way) and thus, doesn’t have an official canon or back story, nor should he need one.

      The things that terrify the most are the things we DON’T know.

      • I totally agree with your thinking Dazz

    • Because if they do it that way he stops being a batman villain and becomes more of a James Gordan Villain. Put him in the show when the main focus is Gordan and you give people the impression it doesn’t take an extrodaniary guy in a bat costume to take down the Joker, therefore making the Joker just an ordinary thug.

      • Gordon. ‘We have a new guy….. Robs banks in theatrical style…. Leaves this calling card’

        Bats ‘I’ll look into it’

        THATS Jokers origin story!! Joker should not be in this movie just like none of the Avengers are in Shield… Joker in Arrow? I don’t think so. Foprget about it being ‘cannon’, Joker will beused again in a future Batman movie, if this fails it will leave a sour taste in the mouth after a classic performance from Ledger.

        • Series… Not Movie :)

    • My thing is the Joker is around the same age as Bruce so if Bruce is in this early teens then the Joker should be around that age. Reinventing is fine as long as you don’t change the things that made the character great. For me, having a grown up Joker with a kid Bruce would just ruin the series. I get why they are trying to include the Joker into the series but some things are just better left alone

  4. Looks like Red John all over again.

    They could just leave it open ended when the series finish, picking one actor (and make him a coward) will be a big FAIL.

  5. Michael. Pitt. Dude practically already played the Joker on “Hannibal.”

    • +1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

    • Yes, I would actually like Pitt as the new Joker but in the cinematic big screen role and not in this series.

  6. How about a slow burn lasting the whole series leading up to the reveal of the Joker in one of the last episodes…which causes Bruce to don the cowl for the first time (the producers have said the final shot of the series will be Bruce putting on the cowl for the first time)

    • I like that idea. Even better, have the Red Hood be the primary villain of the last season and imply that he is slightly insane, but don’t reveal anything about his past.

      In the last episode, have the police (preferably with Gordon leading them) take down his gang and have Hood cornered. Hood jumps into the chemical vat to escape.

      Then, in the last few minutes of the series finale, have Hood be looking into a mirror and slowly take off the mask. At the same time, have Wayne listening to a police scanner and hear that another squad of officers is under attack by some villain. Switch back, and the mask is fully off, and the newly uncovered Joker starts laughing maniacally. You still hear the laughter in the background as Wayne pulls on the cowl. Black out.

  7. I don’t get it
    People are still waiting for this ? Lol

    • Why shouldn’t we? If a show looks good, people wait for it to air.

      Don’t you know the meaning of the word “anticipation”? I could go to Dictionary.com if you like. Either that or I could stoop to your immature level and respond with “I don’t get it, people are still taking you seriously? Lol”

      • That guy’s a troll. I’ve been using the screen-name longer and he suddenly pops up in every comment thread being a smartass.

  8. SHIELD.

    • You forgot:
      SUX

  9. I just hope when he shows up (the actual Joker) they NEVER let us know which, if any, of the teases he was. Joker’s origins are always best when he doesn’t have any. IMO

    Other than that I think this is a good idea, and shows that the show runners have a little creativity. That will help with getting the general audience over the fact of Gotham without Batman. I never minded the concept, for I know how awesome the comic Gotham universe is. My only concern is time frame, Batman was supposed to precede all these villains, if they do their true origins whilst Batsy is a kid… it might (will) just fell a bit off. It is going to be a very fine line for them to try and balance on.

  10. WB should’ve just cut the BS and already produce a Netflix mini-series in which stars the Dark Knight himself instead of conceiving a show in which is duplicating the same errors it has committed before (i.e. Smallville). Get your heads out of your asses, WB, and start acting like you know what the hell you are doing.

  11. I see some time issues as if Penguin, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Riddler and Joker are involved in this with a young Gordon by the time Batman is old enough to be a crime fighter all of the villains will be geriatrics!! To me Penguin is older that Bats by about 20 years, Riddler is a little older say 5 years, Ivy, Catwoman and Joker are about the same age as Bruce….. Is this just a ratings grab with Joker? And, of course the obvious thing…. An origin ruins the mystery of Joker (my favorite villain of all time), he should come out of no where and should be Batman’s exact opposite… No Batman no Joker period.

  12. I always thought (regardless of the comedian aspect) he was a person down on their luck and needed money (baby on the way).

    He got hooked into doing jobs for a gang/mob. Wearing the Red Hood (as all the low thugs did) kept his identity secret. No two persons would wear the hood at the same time nor twice in a row of jobs to be done.

    He was never The Joker until after the fated night at the chemical plant.

    “The Joker’s reason for wearing the Red Hood costume and who he was before his chemical bath have changed with time.”

    However it never changes the fact that he wore the Red Hood and had a bath. So logic (hehehehe) dictates it was that fated night and that event that pushed him over the edge.

    To delve into it thinking there will be a cut and dry he is The Joker because of this will not happen. You may assume he became the Joker because of the comedian aspect, or maybe it was because the chemicals made him look like a Joker from a playing card etc. (just look at it from a Nolan aspect – which I think we would have seen something had Heath lived joining the two again with Batman as the catalyst for the scars….)

    There may be a ‘slow burn’ to him transforming into The Joker but to assume we will be told THIS made him the Joker is not going to happen. We will just who the person was before becoming The Joker. (IMO)

  13. So the Joker is an adult when Bruce is just a kid. If I had a week, it wouldn’t be enough time to cover all the things that already seem wrong about this show. I can’t wait to see the review.

  14. You guys are talking cr*p about the Joker in the show, but nothing said sh*t about Bane from the league of shadows (TDK) or the Joker killing batman’s parents in the Tim Burton films… Guys.. Comic book stories have an infinite number of parallel universes, each one slightly different to the last one. If you write something on a piece of paper about batman, guess what!? thats another parallel universe. Chill out!! This seems as an interesting story. Sit back and relax, this is going to be one of tons of Batman and Gotham’s different takings.

    eP

    • Also, nobody cared when the Mandarin was tweaked for IM3 or when Ra’s al-Ghul taught Batman to fight originally in Begins. Just chill out guys.

      • No one cared when the Mandarin was tweaked? Wow, I remember the outrage by comic fans over the whole bait and switch with the Mandarin that it backfired on Marvel so much so that they had to do a short film trying to correct things. Yeah, people cared. The whole Ra’s al-Ghul storyline in Begins was handled beautifully and therefore made some people accept this storyline. The story was very well done and still maintained some parallels to the comics

        • Ok yeah, I remember a bunch of fan boys crying about that, but I thought it was great. I want them to change that stuff. The old stories are terrible. They don’t make sense and they’re outdated. It’s time to reinvent them. Like, why not reveal that Gordon becomes the Joker at the end of season 1?

  15. There is no Joker without Batman.Its ok if they tease him as long as they never go into the story like him becoming The Red Hood or The Joker

  16. They are going to much with the villains Bruce wayne is just a boy in this show u bring all thies villains in now and the time Bruce becomes batman they will all be ready for the retairment home… Most of batman’s foes are around his age!! Maybe the penguin and the mob boss might work cause their older but the joker, ivory, riddler are around batman age…

    • That’s my point. Introducing characters like the Riddler, the Joker, and some others that are around Bats age as a grown up doesn’t make sense to me. This is actually just making me not even want to watch the show now. If they are around BW’s age then fine, but if we’re talking a 10 year or more age difference then that won’t fly with me no matter how good the show may be. They might as well have a grown up Dick Grayson while they’re at it. Lets just change everything for the sake of TV, LOL. Say what you want about Arrow and the CW but at least they are sticking as close to the souce material when it comes to certain important characters and now throwing random stuff out there.

  17. “Showrunner Bruno Heller (Rome, The Mentalist) had previously confirmed that The Joker was part of the long-term plan for Gotham, but that it would be a “slow burn” and “carefully-built” reveal. In other words: the exact opposite of casting the role for the pilot episode.”

    [Spoilers about Mentalist]
    Well, Red John was supposed to “be a “slow burn” and “carefully-built” reveal” but it doesn’t stop Heller to cast him in the second episode of Mentalist.

  18. I know who is Joker! He´s the man kidnapped by Penguin. Why? Because Penguin says that the man´s mother don´t believe he was trapped, nobody believe in him because probably he´s a joker man.

  19. what if the penguin is the joker? he seems to be the most featured character and i dont see a composite character being outside of the realm of possibility

    • what if the girl is the joker?

      • What if Alfred is The Joker?

        • What if I’m the joker?