The Batman prequel TV series Gotham has been renewed for a fifth and final season.
The last few days have seen a number of networks announce series cancellations and renewals. While The CW had already confirmed the Arrowverse shows would continue, the future of Gotham seemed to be in doubt. The series needs only 13 episodes to reach the 100-episode milestone for syndication, meaning achieving a final pick-up would be a tremendous achievement for Warner Bros.
According to THR, Warner's efforts have been successful. Gotham has been renewed for a fifth season - albeit a final, shorter one. Although the network is yet to make an official statement, this fifth season will reportedly only be 13 episodes in length. It will focus in on young Bruce Wayne, finally revealing how he becomes the Dark Knight. This weekend has been a difficult one for fans of DCTV, with FOX canceling Lucifer after three seasons. At least Gotham will be allowed to wrap up properly, instead of leaving fans with an unresolved cliffhanger.
Focusing in on the final stages of Bruce Wayne's transformation into the Caped Crusader is the perfect way to end the Batman prequel series, which stars David Mazouz as Bruce, Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, and Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth. The show has often felt more like a noir police procedural than a superhero show, but that's appropriate in many ways for a Batman prequel. Little by little, Bruce Wayne has become recognizable as the proto-Batman, as his grief motivates him to act for the sake of his city.
Executive Producer Danny Cannon has promised that Season 5 will serve as "almost a reboot" of the superhero show, with the city changed forever by a "catastrophic event" that will happen in the Season 4 finale, due to air on May 17. The Season 4 finale bears the title "No Man's Land," a clear reference to a comic book story that saw Gotham City devastated by an earthquake. In the aftermath of the earthquake, Gotham's villains attempted to carve up the city, with Batman and Jim Gordon desperately attempting to rein them in. That seems to be the likely basis for Season 5, although it's worth noting Gotham has always tended to do pretty loose adaptations.
The most curious question is how the character of Jeremiah will figure into this. Cameron Monaghan recently confirmed that his character is not the Joker; what's more, it seems Warner Bros. are refusing to allow Gotham to introduce the Joker at all. The studio seems to be concerned about the risk of diluting the brand, given they have both the DCEU version and the standalone Todd Phillips Joker movie in the works. The latter is expected to be the Joker's origin story, explaining why Warner Bros. would be reluctant to sign off on a TV origin version at this stage.
Gotham's season 4 finale, "No Man's Land," airs Thursday, May 17, on FOX.