Will the Joker Make His Way to ‘Gotham’?


Batman #23.1 - JokerEarlier this week FOX released the first official trailer for Gotham, which will be based on characters from the Batman universe. In what can be considered a prequel to Zack Snyder’s Batman vs Superman film (wishful thinking), the trailer featured some iconic Batman villains in their younger years. These villains include Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy, and Edward Nygma/The Riddler. Now, according to Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller, another iconic villain may enter the fold.

Originally introduced in 1940 in Batman #1, the Joker has been featured in several Batman related projects including TV shows, movies, and video games. The late Heath Ledger played the last live-action portrayal of the character in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bruno Heller spills the beans about eventually bringing the character into Gotham stating, “He’s the crown jewel of the Batman villains. He will be brought in with great care and a lot of thought.” When Entertainment Weekly asked him whether it would be too soon to use the Joker, being the Heath Ledger’s performance was so iconic, Heller replied:

I’ve written scenes for Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. So while that is a serious and valid note, you can’t get into doing this without going there. That was a wonderful performance and — apart from everything else — wonderful make-up. And we should try to live up to that. It will be a different character. It’s certainly going to be more Heath Ledger than Cesar Romero.

While I can understand why Heller would take the opportunity to use the Joker in Gotham, it’s not exactly something I’d like to see. Part of what makes the Joker so interesting to me is the mystery behind his origins. Yes, it’s pretty much canon in the comics that he becomes the Joker when he falls into a vat of acid after a fight with Batman, but since there is no Batman in Gotham I wonder if we are going to see the character before he went crazy? Or will Heller allow the character to become the infamous Clown Prince of Crime without Batman’s aide? In the interview with Entertainment Weekly, Heller does protest his love for Alan Moore’s graphic novel The Killing Joke, which gave us a glimpse into Joker’s past as a failed comedian, but generally good person, who turns to crime due to his dire circumstances and eventually falls into the inevitable vat. Most recently writer Scott Snyder wrote the Joker as already being a diabolical villain, even before he fell into the vat, in the story Batman: Zero Year. Gotham does have a lot of source material they can pull from, but personally I wouldn’t want to see the origin of the Joker on the small screen. I think that so far writer/director Christopher Nolan has done it best when he gave the character no clear origin in The Dark Knight. We never did learn how he got those scars.

What do you think? Do you think having the Joker appear in Gotham is a good idea? If so, how would you like his origin to be handled? Let us know in the comments.