Here's How 'Gotham' Is Adapting Some Of Batman's Most Iconic Characters For TV

Gotham charactersJustin Stephens/FOXThe villains of ‘Gotham.’ From left to right: Carmine Falcone (John Doman), Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), and Edward Nygma/The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith).

Fox’s new Batman origin story “Gotham” premieres Monday night.

One thing that may have fans worried is how much some of their favourite characters may deviate from the source material.

During a recent conference call, showrunner and executive producer Bruno Heller discussed how the “Gotham” crew is adapting the famous Batman characters for television.

“It’s a tricky balance, because obviously you don’t want to simply create a new character,” said Heller. “You have to create a character that is that iconic character … and they have to have their iconic characteristics. But on the other hand, if we just deliver the character that people have seen before, than we’re failing the audience. There is so much — the Batman world is such a vast world full of so many great iterations of these characters that you can’t simply take those elements and regurgitate them. You have to give the audience a fresh look.”

Heller expanded specifically on how the Penguin’s character was adapted for television.

Penguin gotham robin lord taylorJessica Miglio/FOX‘This is Penguin as a young man, striving and struggling and hungry,’ said showrunner Bruno Heller during a conference call for ‘Gotham.’

“For me, with Penguin, it was important to be true to the psychology of that kind of person,” added Heller. “This is a sort of graphic novel version of the character, as opposed to a comic book version of the character. In the comic books, he’s … I wouldn’t say he’s more comedic, but he’s not — it’s hard to distil it down to an essence.”

“Right now, he’s that hungry, violent, scrabbling character,” he added.

Heller expects there there may be some controversy with the interpretation of some of the characters, but he believes that’s a good thing.

“All I can promise is we work very closely with Geoff Johns [Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics] to make sure we’re not betraying the essence of who these people are, because that would be pointless,” said Heller. ” We’re never going to sort of change up the characters simply for the shock value of changing them.”

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