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Fox To Launch GOTHAM Series Featuring Commissioner… Er, Detective Gordon

Somewhere in a dingy apartment in Gotham City, Police Commissioner James Gordon sat in his worn Laz-E-Boy, watching Gotham’s ABC affiliate as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuted last night, and said out loud to nobody in particular, “Phil Coulson? PHIL COULSON has a TV show?!? Where’s MY show?” And then the phone rang.

Or, at least, that’s how it SHOULD have gone. In real life, Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva is reporting that Fox has won a bidding war for Gotham, a new series from Warner Bros. Television and Bruno Heller, creator of The Mentalist, which will look at Commissioner Gordon before he was Commissioner — it’ll be set in Gordon’s days as a detective, before he meets Batman, handling the super bad guys without the aid of any mysterious rich guy in a cowl and cape. And it has a series commitment, so no pilot, it’s straight to series.

So with Flash on its way and Arrow going strong on the CW, and now this, the DC Universe is holding its ground against the Marvel incursion on network TV. You can assume that Gotham will show up next Fall, so you have a little time before they cast and shoot it to speculate and get your wish list together. Who do you want to play Detective Gordon? (You’re not getting Gary Oldman, most likely, and it’s a prequel and it’s network TV, so think young.) How about the villains — who do you want to see in younger, pre-Batman form? Comments below, plz.

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  1. A. L. Scott says:

    I love the Gordon character and while I’m a bit dubious on what they’re going to go with story wise, I recall that before Batman arrived Gotham had a mafia problem rather than super villains. I can see Gordon as being more openly passionate than we know him presently, being younger(ish) and thinking he had a straightforward job of trying to put the obvious criminals behind bars and gradually figuring out that his enemy is on the same side as he as well, which leads him to facing the truth that corruption dwells in all corners of Gotham, especially the police. I think this show would be about the struggle of a good man remaining a good man.
    And there’s no getting around the fact that Gordon is a good man; time and time again in the Batman universe Gordon has had the opportunity to do the easy thing, or the satisfying destructive acts, but he refrains, demonstrating that he’s got an iron will to match Batman’s, who has himself faltered only to be held back by Gordon who believes in Batman and a better way of living.
    I believe that should be what Gordon’s show should be about. And I can only hope.

  2. Rob says:

    This is an absolutely IGNORANT premise for a show … It sounds like lazy and shoddy story telling and looking to cut corners on production value … “hey we don’t have to spend all that money on costumes and cars and gadgets and sets, lets put it on tv” People looking to turn a buck just because of the association with the REAL central character, Batman … so basically what are we selling here ? A second rate Batman story with a lower production value and shitty stories and no Bats ? Without Batman what is going to make this any different from any other tv cop drama that weve watched on tv since time and memoriam … Thanks anyway … without bats or his rogues … Ill stick to Law and Order … its got a proven track record

  3. malreyn says:

    Even if it ends up being good, it’s a lame idea. if it’s a show about Gordon taking down all the bad cops, then it doesn’t have to be a DC show. It can just be a cop show about a good cop taking down bad cops. If it’s about Gordon taking down super villains, then there’s no need for Batman to exist and when he does, it’s implying that the super villains existed first and that he exists as a response to them. If it’s a show about Gordon taking down super villains before they become super, then that’s a lame show. if it’s a show about Gordon just being a cop in Gotham but not taking down super villains or other cops, then it’s every other crime drama on TV.

    Gordon’s a cool guy, but there’s nothing “special” about him that any other good cop shouldn’t embody. Portraying him too heroically and doing his job too well makes Batman seem pointless. Portraying him not heroically or competent enough makes him seem like he should be dead after a season or two. Having him as the main character is fine if Batman then never exists. But a Gotham without Batman just feels pointless. You can show how bad off Gotham was without him, but then he’s got to show up at some point.

    One way I could see a show working around Gordon would be to have it take place with Batman currently active and ever elusive. He’d have to be in the show some. Constantly mentioned and sporadic sightings. But Gordon would be doing his thing while knowing that there’s someone in the shadows watching his back and Gordon would defend his rep against the other cops. Maybe that’s what they’re thinking. The first season would be less super and end in a big fail, followed by a mysterious vigilante starting to help “taking out the trash” in the second season. It seems like that happening for an indefinite number of seasons would get old, though.

  4. Steven S says:

    Everything I’ve seen and read about Gotham has insinuated that, while the city did have a really bad crime problem, the supervillains didn’t really come out of the woodwork until Batman showed up and tried to clean up the city. His presence escalated Gotham’s crime problem from thugs and mafiosos to insane clowns and red-heads who have the power to control plants. Even in the Nolan movies, which moved away from the supernatural villains, the city’s worst criminal threat during Bruce Wayne’s absence was the Falcone family and various other gangs. Assuming they stick to either version of Batman canon, it’s just going to be a police procedural with possible hints of well-known villains in the background. Knowing TV Execs though, they’ll discard precedent and just have a bunch of super villains show up with only the police force to stop them.

  5. Hannah L says:

    I think Jon Bernthal would be an AWESOME choice!!! As much as I loathed the crazy amoral turns his character Shane took on TWD I always thought he did an great job embodying calm confidence. He has an old fashioned strength and integrity combined with a modern charisma young audiences would find appealing. So if Gotham happens he would get my vote for Gordon :-))

  6. michaelalexkawa says:

    I don’t think this will be a good idea ,and it won’t work . I love Commissioner Gordon ,but he really can’t hold up a show on his own . Every episode ,people will be watching ,expecting ,hoping to see Mr. Gotham himself …Batman .

  7. CJ says:

    Hmm, aren’t we already getting a Detective Gordon on Beware The Batman animated series on Cartoon Network? I’d rather there be a new Superman animated series back-to-back with Batman (and there’s a lot of the old animated DC series that deserve a blu-ray remaster n’ release)

  8. NYCrex says:

    So if WB & Fox can work together on this, can’t they work together on releasing the Batman TV series to DVD? Fans want it!

  9. As one expects a series of Batman, is properly with that character, but always good to have, the right to prove that it can work, as we can take a good surprise.

  10. burn says:

    it shouldn’t be Gordon.. it should be based on Greg Rucka’s “Gotham Central” series. They could literally do an issue-by-issue episode breakdown, and it would be as-good if not better then any current police procedural on TV. 5 volumes of trades out there.. enough for at least 3 seasons of TV. THAT would be the smart thing.

  11. RG says:

    I see this as a lame attempt to re-brand the police procedural so that nerds will watch it. Even if it turns out good, I don’t think it’s coming from a very sincere place.

    This is the beginning of nerdsploitation.

  12. John says:

    If they follow a Year One kind of storyline for Gordon that would be the best bet. Curious what characters they will work in villain or otherwise.

  13. Kristoffer says:

    Mr Freeze would be a good nemesis for Det. Gordon.

    The question is are they going to put in a hot blonde love interest partner?