If there's one thing FOX's Gotham could never logically be accused of, it's not having enough villains for GCPD hero Jim Gordon and young Bruce Wayne to tangle with. From The Penguin, to The Riddler, to Fish Mooney, to Dr. Hugo Strange, to the Joker-esque Jerome, Gotham City seemingly has no shortage of criminals, the insane, or the criminally insane.
Of course, in Gotham, there's seemingly always room for more bad guys. Set to join Gotham during season 3 are notable Batman canon villains The Court of Owls, The Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, (maybe) Harley Quinn, Solomon Grundy, and a new grown-up version of Poison Ivy. This is all in addition to the impending returns of Strange, Mooney, Penguin, etc. That might seem like too many, but keep in mind, Gotham season 3 has 22 episodes of story to fill.
During a TCA interview with IGN earlier this week, several of Gotham's producers and cast members took the time to shine some light on the plans for season 3's various new villains. First up, producer John Stephens cleared up the circumstances behind Ivy Pepper's sudden aging:
"The idea of Poison Ivy came along because one of the escapees from Indian Hill has the power when he touches you he takes away years of your life, he ages you immediately. So he touches Ivy early on but he didn’t hold onto her for very long so he does a little bit of aging [to her]. So for us we really wanted to play with the idea of transformation. Version one of the character, version two. And so much of Ivy of the canon that we wanted to play, we had to make her a little older."
It's not too hard to see why Gotham made the move to age-up Ivy, as the potential storylines for an adult character are instantly a bit more varied than those for a child, especially when said character is a villain famous for her feminine wiles. That said, according to new Ivy actress Maggie Geha, she hasn't quite hit "full bloom" in that department just yet:
"I don’t think we’ll see any super powers stuff. I think that would be way further down the line especially since this is an origin story show. So I think it’s going to be more about discovering how other people perceive her and what means. A lot of people are focused on her sexuality. I think Ivy, in my opinion, doesn’t really feel sexual about anybody. I think if she notices this person is attracted to me, finds me appealing in a sexual way, I’m going to use that to my benefit. It’s more of a manipulative thing than anything."
As for Killer Croc, Stephens says that fans will be treated to a "proto version" of the reptilian character right near the beginning of the season. He also added that while Croc has already been cast, the actor in question isn't a known commodity yet. On the subject of Solomon Grundy, Stephens stressed that the zombified baddie would not simply be an existing character that dies and gets resurrected in Grundy's form as some have speculated, and will instead be someone completely new to the series.
Finally, Stephens was asked about whether or not The Mad Hatter's well-received portrayal in the Batman: Arkham video game series had helped shape Gotham's take on Jervis Tetch, which will be played by former The Walking Dead villain Benedict Samuel.
"No, not really honestly. I feel like the character’s an amalgam as much anything. There’s a little bit of the reality from the Brubaker books but also from the New 52 and the Snyder books. There’s some of that, too. From the Batman Mad series in terms of the emotional drive that he has. Benedict is definitely taller than most versions of Jervis but he plays it with a level of naturalistic insanity that I think, he really fills out that pantheon really, really well. But, no, there’s no influence from the games."
As Gotham's world continues to grow ever larger, one wonders whether the series will eventually hit a ceiling as far as how many living villains it can support at any one time. With producers clearly reluctant - for obvious reasons - to kill off characters that are destined to be signature foes for Bruce Wayne's eventual caped crusader, the villain count is likely to grow a lot more than it shrinks in coming seasons. If only there was some type of powerful masked vigilante around to stop them.
Gotham will return to FOX on September 19th at 8 pm EST.