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GOTHAM Producers Talk Introducing Harley Quinn, Expanding Joker Mythology

Everyone wants a piece of the Harley Quinn action right now. From her blink-and-you’ll-miss-it voice cameo on Arrow to her scene-stealing role in Suicide Squad, the fan-favorite twisted villain is everywhere. And now she might even show up on Gotham!

During the FOX show’s 2016 Summer TCA press tour panel, executive producer John Stephens was asked if any of the characters in Suicide Squad would show up in season three or if they were being saved only for the film franchise.

“A lot of those characters, because they’re in Suicide Squad, you’re not going to be seeing them this season,” Stephens told the room of reporters. “We’ll be seeing proto-versions of some of those characters. We’ll see a proto-Killer Croc version. And we’ll be seeing a character, perhaps not this season but in times to come, who can be a forerunner of Harley Quinn which will be fun.”

But for now, the DC Comics series is focused on expanding the mythology and origin story of Batman’s greatest villain: the Joker.

“When you think of the Joker in the Batman canon, obviously nobody else looms as large,” Stephens said. “We really imagined developing the myth of the Joker at the same time as we develop the myth of Batman. We really wanted to stretch that over multiple seasons. So in the course of this year, we’re going to see how the cult of the Joker—[which] really started at the beginning of last year—is going to extend and deepen and change this year. We have these underground movements that have started to talk about Jerome and what he represented and how he’s going to come back, setting the stage for perhaps, if FOX gives us a season four, hopefully we’ll bring that back in a much bigger way and you’ll see these other versions of the Joker myth with Jerome and with other characters.”

While season two was billed as, first, “Rise of the Villains,” and then “Wrath of the Villains,” season three is darkly titled, “Heroes Will Fall.”

“In season three you’re really going to see how villains have taken up residence inside the city,” Stephens said. “The villains have become more and more a part of the fabric of the city of Gotham. It’s less and less a police show like it was in season one. It’s a natural continuation of that in season three. I totally think we had to build to this point. The place we got to at the end of season three with people coming back to life as medieval monks and what have you, I don’t think we could have gone into that in the first episode of the first season.”


Season three will also feature a very different face playing the character of Ivy. Maggie Geha is taking over the role previously played by Clare Foley.

“One of the themes we like to play in Gotham in transformation,” Stephens said. “Like you saw with Fish, she was a gang leader and bar owner in season one before she dies and comes back to life as a supervillain. Galavan was a mayor and then came back as a medieval assassin. Bruce Wayne started as a boy and becomes a superhero. Canonically, Ivy makes use of her seductive powers. We’re playing somebody in a body that is not theirs.”

Executive producer Ken Woodruff added, “We took someone who was a socially odd girl to someone who’s a bit darker, who is more willing to do things and harm people where she wouldn’t have before.”

David Mazouz will also get the chance to play darker this season as he pulls double duty as Bruce Wayne and the mysterious Bruce Wayne doppelgänger that escaped Indian Hill in the season two finale.

“I love it. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime for an actor,” Mazouz said. “This character, this doppelgänger, it’s not bad. He’s not an evil version of Bruce Wayne. He was created for this very specific purpose and he doesn’t know what that is. He’s a bit lost but he will find that purpose. As the subtitle for the beginning of season three suggests, ‘Heroes Will Fall,’ so maybe he will take a dark turn at some point in season three.”

As for the original Bruce Wayne, expect to see him get even darker this season as well.

“We’re going to see him start to develop this playboy persona that he inevitably ends up faking [when he’s a grown man],” Stephens said. “As he explores that, he’ll get lost and cross this line where coming back will be very difficult. Next year when this Joker cult comes up, he’ll find himself in very dire circumstances.”

Is it fall yet?! Gotham season three premieres Sept. 19 at 8 pm. What do you think about the plans for the new season?

Image: FOX

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