John Stephens, one of the showrunners on Fox's Gotham, has revealed which villains from Batman lore he wished the show had got around to adapting. The Batman prequel series has brought a wide array of the franchise's infamous villains to the small screen, touching on almost every major baddie the Caped Crusader has faced. Penguin, Selina Kyle and The Riddler have all been key members of the main cast, with recurring turns from Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Victor Zsasz, Solomon Grundy, Hugo Strange, Mad Hatter and Scarecrow. Of course, Gotham also included its own interpretation of The Joker, played by Cameron Monaghan.
After much deliberation from its network, Gotham was eventually green-lit for a shortened fifth season, however the run was also confirmed to be the show's last. While this would give the series a chance to wrap up a few loose ends and provide fans with a proper conclusion, it also meant that the creative team's long-term arcs would have to be put aside, as would several characters the show simply didn't have time to work with.
Speaking with ComicBook, Stephens revealed exactly which characters he regrets not being able to bring to Gotham, with one serious pick and one... not quite as serious. The showrunner stated:
"I've been trying to get Condiment King in for five years, but every time I pitch Condiment King, people are like, 'We're not going to be doing Condiment King.' ... We were never able, at the end of the day, unfortunately, to get in the Ventriloquist, which especially for No Man's Land feels like something we should have done, you know? But every time we wrote him in, he just kept getting squeezed out by the story, so we have Easter eggs with him in the story, obviously."
Clearly, the comedy-heavy Condiment King was never likely to grace the gritty, murky streets of Gotham and even if he did, it would surely be such a radical adaptation that the villain would be barely recognizable from his animated series counterpart. As disappointed as Stephens was not to use the ketchup-wielding baddie, he probably knew he wasn't on to a winner with that particular piece of creative input, especially since Gotham isn't exactly known for its comedic flourishes.
The Ventriloquist on the other hand seems like a perfect fit for the tone of Gotham and the type of villains it tends to prefer and, in many ways, it's surprising that the character hasn't already debuted on the show. A mentally unstable criminal genius with a fondness for quirky performance art is exactly the type of figure Gotham excelled at and the villain's gangster-themed dummy would've melded naturally with the show's gray, urban aesthetic.
Reveals such as this certainly prove that Gotham had plenty more ideas left to develop and reinforce just how much fans will miss the series when season 5 comes to a close. However, one door closed is another opened and with the forthcoming DC Universe streaming service set to bring a raft of new productions such as Titans to the table, The Ventriloquist could be set for a live-action appearance in the not-too-distant future.
Gotham season 5 premieres in 2019 on Fox.