GOTHAM Showrunner: 'Superheroes Don't Really Work Well On TV'

"Gotham" poster
Credit: Fox
'Gotham' season 3 cast
'Gotham' season 3 cast
Credit: Fox

Fox's Gotham has been slowly building a stable of Batman's greatest enemies all without the Dark Knight himself having shown up yet; in fact, Bruce Wayne is barely a teenager on the show. And if recent comments by showrunner Bruno Heller are any indication, Batman himself won't be swooping in to save the day any time soon - or any actual superhero.

“I don’t think superheroes work very well on TV," Heller said at the Edinburgh Television Festival (via The Hollywood Reporter). "Probably because of the costume thing. TV is about real people and faces, and not so much about magic and the supernatural things.”

“[Gotham] has to be both a crime procedural and a mythic, epic, grand comic book saga,” he continued. “It’s a tricky combination, because you have to keep it real and unreal at the same time.”

Heller explained that this balance is why he chose Jim Gordon as the focal point for the show. “What’s fun to write is the morale and sort of psychological collapse of Gordon," he explained.

Still, it's possible Batman could eventually show up, or that the show might end at the point when Batman becomes inevitable.

“Every season is moving towards the world, in which Batman has to emerge to save the day," Heller said. "So every season is doubling down on the chaos and anarchy that is overtaking Gotham. So, things keep getting worse.”

As for his overall attitude towards TV superheroes, Heller has specific thoughts about the audience of superhero and comic book TV shows.

“The comic book constituency has become so large and visible with the whole Comic-Con thing that it is very easy to assume that the audience is purely comic book enthusiasts, but I operate the show on the basis that it is a mistake to just go there,” he explained. “What we are trying to do is always give little Easter eggs, little gifts every episode to the real cognoscenti, but you don’t need to know more than the basic Batman myth.”

Gotham season 3 premieres September 19 on Fox.

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