Gotham star Cameron Monaghan and the show's producer John Stephens have confirmed that the character Jerome is not the Joker and also that the show will never be allowed to use a proper version of the iconic Clown Prince of Crime.
The Batman prequel series has survived for four seasons on FOX, introducing a bevy of Batman's villains long before Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) donned his cape and cowl. The series has leaned heavily on origin stories for the likes of Penguin (Robin Taylor) and the Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), and it has introduced memorable versions of Ra's al Ghul, the Mad Hatter, and Poison Ivy. Young Bruce Wayne's relationship with Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), who will one day become Catwoman, has been one of the who's most rewarding so far. And yet, the show has always played coy with whether or not Monaghan's dual role of Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska would become the Joker, which isn't a possibility anymore.
Cameron Monaghan confirmed on Twitter that not only is his character not the Joker but that Gotham is barred from using the character at all, as Warner Bros. perhaps only wants the Joker to appear in the DC Extended Universe films (as well as the standalone Todd Phillips Joker film). Monaghan's not even allowed to sport the trademark green hair.
Various hair tests. Pure green was off-limits to us (as well as the name "Joker"), a decision from high-up as they wanted to reserve these for films. A decision which ultimately I respect. They did not want to dilute the very lucrative brand. It allowed for creativity on our end. pic.twitter.com/pSlacSUTjU— Cameron Monaghan (@cameronmonaghan) May 12, 2018
Producer John Stephens confirmed that Monaghan is not the Joker in an interview with IGN, though he suggested in his mind Jerome and Jeremiah may be indirectly shaping an offscreen Joker.
The other characters are who they are. Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, etcetera. But no, he isn't the Joker. What we've always gone with is that Joker is somewhere out there, anonymous and unformed, in Gotham, and he's watching the actions of Jeremiah and Jerome and possibly even another one, on his way somewhere down the line, and he's adopting them as inspirations as the person he'll one day become.
This would appear to be yet another instance of Warner Bros.' inscrutable policy on characters appearing in multiple forms over different media platforms at the same time. Fans first became aware of the policy when the 2001 Justice League cartoon was unable to use certain Batman villains in deference to the newer, unrelated animated series The Batman. The issue has cropped up in some strange ways in the Arrowverse as well; Arrow was required to kill off most of its version of the Suicide Squad so that the team could be used exclusively in their own movie, yet there seemed to be no problem with both Ezra Miller and Grant Gustin playing The Flash at the same time.
This may all end up a moot point, as Gotham has yet to be officially renewed, with its fourth season finale wrapping up next week. If the show's end is truly here and it never gets to properly delve into the mind of the Joker, then, hopefully, fans will be happy with the Valeska brothers as something of a prequel consolation prize.
Gotham season 4 concludes with "No Man's Land" on May 17th on FOX.