How Big a Role will The Joker Play in “Gotham”?

I didn’t bring up the Joker at all in my Pilot Review of Gotham because it was late at night when I was writing and I thought there was enough to put into an entire longer post.

As I was watching Gotham (the pilot), I was a little bit put-off by how many easter eggs and teases there really were for future characters in there. First off (and this is important for later), a lot of villains they show don’t even seem compatible for the timeframe. What I mean is this: I always assumed Catwoman was a couple years younger than Batman, not that they were the same age. And I always thought that Edward Nygma was about the same age, give a couple years maybe, to Bruce Wayne. And isn’t Poison Ivy at least 10 years younger than Batman, so wouldn’t she be, like, 2 in the pilot?

My point is: I always assumed the Joker was maybe 5 years younger than Batman. Could he be older? Of course, look at Keaton and Nicholson. That being said, if you look at Ledger and Bale, or almost any comic comparison, you’ll see that the Joker always appears to be a few years younger. That being said, will the Joker be 8 years-old when he comes onto the scene this season? I doubt it.

So okay, let’s forget about the age timeframe, and assume he’ll be a couple years older than Batman. But not THAT much older, I hope. If I were the writer of Gotham, here’s how I would have it done, and this is a very ideal circumstance, not anything that will probably happen.

The way I would do it is as follows. I’ve said time and time again that I want there to be some major time jumps between seasons, and I’m assuming there will have to be if they want Bruce to be Batman by the end. That being said, I would like it if the Joker was about 14 or 15 in this season and he only showed up in the last episode or two. He could be a big brother figure to Bruce. Only we find out in the final shot of the season finale that he’s a psychopath and he killed his (Joker’s) parents or something (the final shot before it fades to the title could be him laughing). Then we flash forward five (5) years to Season Two, where Bruce is 16 or 17 and Joker is entering his 20’s. At this point, no one’s seen Joker around for a few years, he and Bruce have parted ways etc. Through this season he isn’t really a threat and will show up again at the very end, where he kills a couple people. The cops will be on the case, but can’t for the life of them find the culprit. And Season 3 would be a couple years later where this guy, Bruce’s friend, has actually made his presence known as a supporting/supporting-main character in the show. He’s there every episode as a friend to Bruce, but is secretly killing people. And at the end of that season, he and Bruce have a big fight that sends this kid over the edge, and he becomes THE JOKER leading into Season Four. And about six months later is Season Four where he’s the psychotic sociopath committing these public and horrid crimes, maybe we even get a Long Halloween arc in there. He pops up every few episodes with his crimes and you see his schemes in the background coming to fruition. And then it all depends if they want to do five or six seasons. If they do six seasons, then Joker is arrested at the end of Season 4 and escapes at the end of Season 5. If they just want five seasons, then Joker gets away at the end of Season 4 and the final season is ALL Joker. It’s kind of like Death of the Family where there’s a Joker-cult and it has a mix of Dark Knight where he’s really pulling the strings of the entire city. It’s a panic, and it has the terrorist feel that Death of the Family had. At this point, the police have discovered Bruce’s friend is the guy doing these crimes and they’re after him. Bruce recognizes he has to do something to, and spends the season perfecting his training and in the last few episodes, he actually becomes the Batman to take down what remains of his childhood friend.

That’s how I’d like to see it done! Not all of these stories need to be two/three episode arcs, they can take their time producing some real quality characters over a few years, which is why the Joker can’t pop up, say, three episodes from now. This is going to be the first time we see the Joker on screen since the Academy-Award winning portrayal Heath Ledger gave. I’m not expecting this TV actor(s) to be anywhere near half as good as Ledger, but if he’s decent, then it could be a really enjoyable show and have a very overarching tone to it.

I know that Bruce Heller has said that he’s going to tease us a bit with the Joker in the first few episodes of Gotham, but he and the whole crew really do need to be safe in addressing this character.

I was watching the pilot last Monday and saw the scene with the stand-up comic performing for Fish Mooney and thought to myself, “huh, that seemed strange and out of place… What character could that be… OH NO!!!” And this past week I’ve been developing my thoughts on how I’d like to see the Joker done. I almost certainly know this isn’t how the character will play out, but I thought it would be fun to just speculate!


So who would you guys like to see play the Joker on Gotham, or next on the big screen? I don’t know if anything will ever compare to Ledger, but I’d love to see someone try. And more importantly, how would you guys like to see the Joker brought into the Gotham-verse (that’s its official name now, it’s done). Let me know down below! And as always, thanks for reading guys!

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