Ra’s al Ghul, A Dark Riddler, And Girl Gangs – The ‘Villains’ Gotham Panel At WonderCon
Gotham’s panel at WonderCon on Sunday was an “all villain panel” focusing on villain characters, which fans were wild about.
Danny Cannon said it’s time to get “new villains and perhaps villains we haven’t heard yet” to bring them forward in Gotham. Cannon has worked on a lot of police procedurals, and he brought a lot of that to Gotham season 1, Holbrook observed. Cannon said that it took a season to establish that world, and the rules or “non-rules” of that world took awhile. At the end of season 1, they were able to move on and focus on characters.
The characters are “so complete now” that they can all interact with each other and it will “feel real”, Cannon said.
Holbrook says we’re seeing Bruce Wayne growing up, literally, commenting on how tall Mazouz is getting. Camren Bicondova commented on how much taller he is than her now. There’s a running question of what’s in the water in Gotham that’s making kids grow so fast.
Asked if she’s ready to start playing a character who “goes bad”, Bicondova said she just sees Selena as a “survivor” and if that means putting yourself first, that’s what she’s going to do.
Asked about Bruce 2.0, Mazouz said that secondary Bruce has undergone a lot, and we have seen him as a “lost soul”, but finding the Court of Owls kind of “created” him. It’s going to have “catastrophic consequences” for Bruce Wayne, Mazouz said.
Asked about a more “brutal, violent” Riddler than we’ve seen on screen so far Cory Michael Smith, said that he’s not concerned with Riddler being “loveable”, but more with him “figuring out his path”. He’s selfish, and therefore not very likeable. We see him struggle with his identity, but there’s a “compassion” or “sympathy” some people have for him.
Asked if Ed loves Oswald, Cory Michael Smith said “No”, but he looks up to him. He now thinks his destiny is to “wreak havoc”, though he hasn’t been in a rush to get there. Oswald was his mentor, the one person who could help him, and now he doesn’t have anyone else to do that. Now he’s on a mission to find his identity in the next episode. Asked if it leads to a “costume”, Smith said, “He has some nice threads. I’m not going to be in a onesie”. Yes, there’s a costume, and part of it will be about his “look”. He’ll call himself “The Riddler”, but he doesn’t know how to behave or communicate like one yet.
Erin Richards, talking about Barbara Gordon’s role, said the piece she was offered to audition was “full of color”, showing all the problems Gordon already had before her break. She was “complex as a woman”, and now the journey shows “how complex women are”, Richards said. She loves the long form storytelling of TV that can show those features over time. She has “all these different layers”, even though she’s extreme. Her “layer of total darkness inside of her” has been brought to the surface.
Jessica Lucas says that Babs is “just crazy”, but Tabitha is a bit more “grounded” so their dynamic is interesting.
Drew Powell agreed that Butch just gets “screwed over, over and over, and over”, but is most likely to survive the series. Cannon told Powell in season 2 that Butch is a survivor and that’s what he’s about. Women are his main trouble. This season he’ll be a “lovelorn fool” yet again.
Asked about the “frequent rotation of power in Gotham”, Powell was asked how Butch will get along with Riddler. Powell said there was a connection with Penguin, but he thinks Riddler is a “pencil necked jerk”. The battle between the two has been fun, Powell said.
Asked if Selena will be taken under the wing of Babs and Tabitha, Lucas said it’s safe to say they are “moving in that direction at some point”, especially since Tabitha with her whip has had some ties to Catwoman from the beginning. Bicondova commented that Babs is “judgey” of Selena, whereas Tabitha isn’t.
Cannon said he’s always liked the idea of a “female gang” and that’s something they are going to explore, to applause.
A teaser trailer was shown, showing a question mark on the skyline, but also a Bruce Wayne who is clearly being trained in a style consistent with Batman’s future. Most of the footage was Bruce Wayne, though there are also plots with the other Bruce.
Bruce will go through a “major transformation” in these last 8 episodes of the season, Mazouz said, and “it’ll be the most important decision of his life”. Bruce goes through an “identity crisis”, Mazouz said.
Asked what Gordon’s reaction will be to this, Mazouz says that Gordon has his own thing going on, and later on they’ll connect, but this transformation will concern Bruce and a new authority figure (shown in the clip as an older man in an Asian-style robe). Holbrook referred to this figure as Ra’s al Ghul, but Cannon said he couldn’t comment on that.
Cannon said that the show has always gone “before the origin” and what you may think you see is not “exactly what you see”, regarding Bruce’s evolution. Bruce needs to “extinguish some things in the past”.
We’re heading towards “Is there someone else behind the Court of Owls”, Cannon said, and that things are going to get worse before they get better.
Holbrook commented on how dark the Jerome storyline has been, and asked Cannon if we’ll see him “tangling” with others again.
Cannon said the writer’s room puts up every villain on a board, and start crossing them with characters to show the “collisions that happen organically” between them.
Lucas said she’d love to work with Jerome more as a character. Selena has never interacted with him directly, so Bicondova also would like to see that interaction.
Cory Michael Smith commented on Riddler in the comics, noting that Riddler has been reinvented and changed so many times. He said the thing that’s been most challenging has been keeping up with the writers and the new, darker Riddler in the show.
Mazouz said that he’s read a lot of comics, and did so before playing the part, as well as watching Batman the Animated series. The fact that Batman had a 75 year history and fanbase was a big deal to him, and he took it seriously. He’d take mental notes of things he’d learn about the character that he didn’t know before, and then as he’d encounter a scene to play, he’d go through a list of features to find some he’d try to include. In Final Crisis, Batman was in mental agony, and when they tried to transfer his brain to others, they couldn’t handle the “mental agony”. Mazouz decided to use that, incorporating that Bruce “lives with pain all the time”.