Gotham season 3 is nearly upon us, and there are certainly plenty of questions for the new series to answer. Who was Bruce Wayne's creepy little doppelganger? What's the situation with Jim Gordon now that he's gone rogue? How will the Mad Hatter feature in the forthcoming season, given that the show's new subtitle is 'Mad City'?
Another huge question mark going into season 3 is the identity and status of the Batman universe's most infamous villain, The Joker. Many fans suspected that a younger version of the baddie was actually Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan), a young man Jim Gordon investigated for killing his mother, but this theory was seemingly nixed after Jerome was killed on live TV. In the season 2 finale, however, a bus-load of super-villains created by Professor Hugo Strange emptied out onto the streets of Gotham, and a faint Jerome-esque laugh could be heard in the background.
Jerome's presence in season three has since been confirmed and in an interview with /Film, Gotham producer Ken Woodruff claimed that Jerome could still actually be the bona fide Joker. When asked whether seemingly killing off Jerome was an attempt to deflect speculation regarding his becoming the Joker, Woodruff answered:
"Exactly. Jerome was always supposed to be the inspiration for The Joker. Maybe he’ll go through an evolution that’ll end up becoming the actual Joker that we all know. The whole idea was that he was supposed to be the inspiration for it."
Woodruff also had a few words to say about the new version of Poison Ivy. Having previously been played by young Clare Foley, the character will now be portrayed by the older Maggie Geha, as the series looks to make Ivy a more integral part of the narrative:
"What we really wanted to accomplish, for me especially and for some of us in the room, one of the core elements that Poison Ivy brought, one of her core powers was this ability to seduce. It felt like it was more easily accomplished with the sort of aged up, older Ivy and it wouldn’t be off putting. It was just one of those skills that we were like it was an opportunity we were missing out on. Not only does she change when she comes back physically, but mentally she’s much, much further down the line in terms of getting close to the canon Poison Ivy that we all know."
The 14 year age gap between actresses Foley and Geha is clearly something Gotham will need to do a convincing job of explaining. The official synopsis is that the younger Ivy encounters a product of Hugo Strange's genetic meddling and is "reborn" as an attractive woman in her twenties. On paper, the concept sounds like a bit of a stretch, even for a show with Mr. Freeze in it.
Gotham has done well recently to move from Batman-flavored police procedural to a genuine comic book-based story with super-powers galore and increasing amounts of far-fetched villains. Season 3 could well be make or break for the series, and time will tell as to whether these new additions will revive the show's fortunes.
Gotham season 3 premieres tonight (September 19th) on Fox.