Young Bruce Wayne actor David Mazouz referred to Gotham's Jerome as "proto-joker" to his "proto-Batman". Despite all its departures from established Batman and DC continuity, arguably the primary creative mission statement of Gotham is to allow fans to witness the evolution of characters like Bruce, Selina Kyle, Oswald Cobblepot, and Edward Nygma into the iconic superheroes and villains that will one day populate the city that the Caped Crusader calls home.
While it's never been a mystery as to who all the above listed characters will turn into, Gotham's producers and writers have always been cagey when it comes to the prior identity of Batman's ultimate nemesis, the Joker. The most clear candidate is of course Jerome Valeska, a white-faced, scarred, cackling psychopath that thrives on chaos and disorder. Still, Gotham's creative team has always been careful to not explicitly refer to Jerome as the future Joker, for whatever reason.
During a recent convention appearance, though, Gotham star Mazouz seemingly confirmed that Jerome is Joker for the first time. As reported by Comic Book, Mazouz specifically referred to Jerome as the "proto-Joker", and cited the carnival scene from season 3 between Jerome and Bruce as Gotham's "first real Batman vs Joker moment." It remains to be seen if or how Gotham producers will respond to this.
What's a bit odd about all the prior denials by the Gotham crew that Jerome was for sure the Joker is that most fans have come to really enjoy watching Jerome's brand of villainous madness, so an official confirmation of Jerome being Joker probably wouldn't bother anyone. He's the only logical candidate Gotham has presented for the role, and Cameron Monaghan's demented performance really sells him as the future Clown Prince of Crime out to make Batman's life a living hell.
While there is still a chance that Gotham pulls a swerve on fans and Jerome ends up only inspiring the real Joker that would arguably feel like a cheat more than anything. That said, it would at least get Joker back to being an enigmatic villain with no known origin that doesn't already have an established history with Bruce Wayne. As Gotham prepares for its new season in the fall, it will be interesting to see if the Joker question finally gets resolved once and for all.
Gotham season 4 premieres Thursday, September 28 on FOX.
Source: Comic Book