It's been one week since Gotham announced the casting of its young Bruce Wayne (and Selina Kyle) - leaving Bat-fans to speculate on how big a role the pre-Caped Crusader will play in FOX's prequel storyline. The topic was a major point of contention on this week's Screen Rant Underground podcast - where we debated whether or not young Master Wayne (played by David Mazouz) will eventually steal the series' spotlight from main protagonist Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie).
Gotham has been pitched as an origin tale for the city's iconic villains and do-good coppers - not a "Batman story." As a result, certain fans expect Bruce Wayne's involvement to be minor - while others believe that we'll see a much more hands-on version of the teenage billionaire (especially as he gets older and stronger in future seasons). Of course, the show doesn't premiere until fall 2014 - meaning potential viewers will have to wait awhile for answers. In the meantime, Fox has released a lengthy synopsis that provides a glimpse at what we can expect - as well as how the characters of Gordon and Wayne will be utilized.
Check out the official logo for Gotham below (click to enlarge):
The synopsis is lengthy, so we've pulled out key highlights for those that are still getting up to speed on Gotham news - as well as anyone who just doesn't want to read the entire thing.
Check out the highlights below followed by our analysis of what the new story details could mean for Gotham (or simply click to the second page of this post to read the full synopsis).
- Gotham is an "origin story of the great DC Comics super villains and vigilantes" - and the plot synopsis confirms the show plans to cover the "circumstances" that create Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker
- Gordon's father used to serve Gotham as District Attorney - and the rookie detective, who is engaged to Barbara Kean, "hopes to restore the city back to the pure version he remembers it was as a kid."
- Partnered with the "brash, but shrewd police legend" Harvey Bullock - Gordon is assigned to investigate the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. In the process, Gordon meets the sole survivor: Bruce Wayne.
- Bruce Wayne is described as a hauntingly intense twelve-year-old son - toward whom Gordon feels an "inexplicable kinship."
- Following Gordon as he rises through the ranks at the GCPD, Gotham will also "focus on the unlikely friendship Gordon forms with the young heir to the Wayne fortune." Additionally, the plot synopsis suggests the show will chronicle "the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time."
While the Penguin and Catwoman have been cast already, it's interesting to see the synopsis outright name drop Riddler, Joker and Two-Face as potential inclusions so early in the process. Obviously, Gotham is a prequel series, meaning that the show could incorporate both mainline Bat-baddies - by depicting the men they were before transforming into full-on super villains. Previously, we heard insider reports suggesting the Joker and the Riddler would be featured at some point in the show; yet, this is the first official news we're hearing of Two-Face. Still, a storyline involving a youthful Harvey Dent who works with Gordon to lock-up criminals (prior to becoming one himself) is rife with potential.
Since the Joker was intentionally depicted as a force-of-nature (without a concrete origin) in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight - fans will likely enjoy an opportunity to explore an alternate take on the character's backstory. Though, whoever is cast in the role will understandably have enormous shoes to fill. The Riddler would also be a perfect fit for a season-long arc - as Gordon and the GCPD race through a series of clues to prevent murders and similar devastation.
That said, fans will likely have to wait awhile before either of the future villains are featured as series regulars - since Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) and gang boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith) are supposed to take center stage in season one.
As far as what to expect from young Bruce Wayne, the synopsis makes one thing very clear - the future Caped Crusader will be a major part of the show (as opposed to essential window dressing). Between asserting that Gordon "feels an inexplicable kinship" toward Bruce and the claim that Gotham "chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time," it sounds as though there's a good chance that the Wayne heir might eventually get his hands bloody - and won't simply be sitting on the sideline for the entire series.
If Bruce is a major part of the series, the Gotham showrunners will need to be evolving his character along with Gordon. This isn't to say that Mazouz will ever appear as "Batman" but it's easy to imagine that after three or four seasons Bruce (along with his mischievous pal Selina Kyle) could take to the streets at night in naive attempts at fighting crime.
After all, Bruce doesn't just become Batman overnight, his acceptance of the cape and cowl come after years of angry brooding, mistakes, and failed attempts at avenging the death of his parents.
NEXT PAGE: Read the Official Gotham TV Series Synopsis
Gotham is in development and expected to premiere on FOX in Fall 2014.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for any future updates on Gotham, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.