While DC and Warner Bros. have been a bit slow to the gate in establishing their Cinematic Universe when compared to their rivals over at Marvel, their television universe via the CW's Arrow series is in full flourish, while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is only just finding its voice. Thus, when the news first broke about a series set in a pre-Batman Gotham City, it seemed like an inspired way for DC to expand their small-screen universe, but not in the way fans were expecting.
Originally thought to be based on the Gotham Central run of comics, the show now known as Gotham was picked up by Fox after a bidding war broke out over the rights to air the Warner Bros. show. All we previously knew was that Gotham would focus on Commissioner James Gordon as a young officer, and provide origin stories for Gordon and presumably a whole host of other characters in Batman's rogues gallery of villains. Now, we know a bit more about what could be one of the series' over-arcing plots.
A listing on TV Show Auditions for the Gotham series includes a casting call for a 10-year-old Bruce Wayne, who will be a series regular. The site also informs us that the show has been "under development for a year," with shooting to begin in March 2014, and provides a series through-line which directly involves young Master Wayne. Namely, that it "will center on Gotham City PD rookie detective James Gordon who investigates the double murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne."
This event - as any halfway casual Batman fan knows - had a profound lasting effect on Bruce Wayne, eventually inspiring him to train himself to a mental and physical peak and don a terrifying costume in order to strike fear into the hearts of the criminals and corrupt of Gotham City. If the plot described above is at all accurate, it could mean that as Gordon investigates the murder, he experiences a character arc parallel to Bruce Wayne's, learning firsthand how lawless Gotham is and resolving in his own way to change things.
At least that's how the plot generally goes in a lot of the Batman-Gordon origin stories, with the most recent being the storyline of this year's video game Batman: Arkham Origins, which quite effectively puts Batman and Gordon at odds with each other. Casting a young Bruce Wayne on this series leads to the question of how many younger versions of other well-known characters we may see. Bruce's butler/surrogate father Alfred Pennyworth seems like the most natural bet, along with (maybe) some of Gordon's GCPD mainstays like Harvey Bullock or Gordon's usual predecessor Commissioner Loeb - it's also an even bet that we'll see some of the Bat's future enemies in their pre-super-villain form, such as Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin) or Victor Fries (Mr. Freeze), and maybe even a young Harvey Dent (Two-Face).
The question of whether or not Gotham could cross-over with Arrow or the planned series based on Barry Allen AKA The Flash remains unanswered, but doesn't seem likely, given the different networks and timelines involved. With DC and Warner Bros. making aggressive strides toward dominating the super-hero movie conversation by casting the new Wonder Woman for Batman vs. Superman, it feels increasingly unlikely that the small-screen and big-screen DC continuities will ever cross-over.
What about you, Screen Ranters? Are you interested in seeing a small-screen exploration of Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne's origins, even if it means never crossing over to the big-screen?
Gotham is in development and will air on FOX, with shooting planned to begin in March, 2014.
Source: TV Show Auditions