FOX’s ‘Gotham’ Confirms Hugo Strange and Arkham Asylum in Season 1, Plus Harvey Dent?
FOX’s forthcoming Batman prequel series ‘Gotham‘ has felt a bit frontloaded with villains by its very pilot, something showrunners assured at the TCA press tour wouldn’t necessarily be the case going forward. Still, despite the presence of the Penguin, Catwoman, Riddler, Poison Ivy and perhaps even Joker and Mr. Freeze, FOX’s ‘Gotham’ already has designs on introducing Batman villain Hugo Strange in season 1, with a plan in mind for Harvey “Two-Face” Dent as well.
The bearded and bespectacled Professor Hugo Strange may not be the most well-known of Batman villains to the casual fan, though the ‘Arkham’ game series certainly bumped up the Dark Knight-obsessed doc’s profile, something FOX’s ‘Gotham’ will soon follow suit of. Speaking to IGN, showrunner Bruno Heller confirmed that not only would we see Hugo Strange over the course of the first season, but his presence would also help establish the show’s version of Arkham Asylum, shifting ‘Gotham’ even further toward the setting we know from comic books:
Hugo Strange is going to pop up because we’re going to start dealing with how Arkham was created and why Arkham was created in the way that it was so, yeah, absolutely. It’s a Season One thing because in our telling of it the way Arkham was created and the why and how is one of the causes of the particular criminal climate in Gotham that allowed Batman to happen.
The revolving door of Arkham is both a brilliant narrative device because it allows you to — you don’t have to kill people off, you can just put them in cold storage — but if you’re telling the story from the start you kind of have to explain, ‘What the f***? Why don’t you make that place a place people don’t escape from?’ We’re going to explain why it is the way it is and Hugo Strange is a big part of that.
Additionally, Heller previewed that iconic Batman character Harvey Dent would pop up on the series eventually, though less likely as one of young Bruce Wayne’s peers, and moreso closer in age to Ben McKenzie’s Detective James Gordon. “We’re playing Harvey Dent slightly older. He’s more Gordon’s age in this telling. One of the things to avoid in order not to tell a high school story — which would be great, but it”s a different show on a different network at a different time that I would not be a part of. But he will go back to school and villains will be part of that world.”
The new series will explore “the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and the villains that made Gotham famous,” with its pilot focusing on Gordon’s investigation of the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. The pilot was written and executive produced by Bruno Heller (‘The Mentalist’), along with Warner Bros. Television, and directed by ‘Judge Dredd’ helmer Danny Cannon.
FOX’s ‘Gotham’ also stars Robin Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot, Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, Donal Logue as Gordon’s partner Detective Harvey Bullock, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne, Cory Michael Smith as Edward Nygma, Victoria Cartagena and Andrew Stewart-Jones as Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen, ‘Burn Notice‘ star Zabryna Guevara as Gordon’s GCPD boss Captain Essen, and Erin Richards as Gordon’s fiancée Barbara Kean.
We’re interested to see how ‘Gotham’ manages to balance the absence of Batman or any immediate villains in its inaugural episodes, but what do you think? Is Hugo Strange a good fit for building the world around FOX’s new Bat-drama? How would you like to see other iconic Bat-characters handled? Watch a flurry of new trailers for the season below, stay tuned for the latest from Comic-Con 2014, and tell us what you want to see from the September premiere in the comments!