Home Entertainment GOTHAM showrunner Bruno Heller talks Hugo Strange, Two-Face and the origins of Arkham

GOTHAM showrunner Bruno Heller talks Hugo Strange, Two-Face and the origins of Arkham

4 min read


Batman is generally the best at everything. He just is (even getting into the Avengers!). But if there’s one thing where ol’ Bats really excels at, it’s in having a killer rogues gallery. And quite a few faces – well, slightly younger versions of those faces – featured on that villainous lineup will be showing up in Fox’s Gotham, which follows a young Jim Gordon policing the streets of Gotham, while Bruce Wayne has barely discovered girls, much less how to dress up in a leather gimp suit and beat up crooks.

We’ve heard and seen a lot about Gotham‘s version of Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman and Poison Ivy, but showrunner Bruno Heller has revealed to IGN that there are two (or is that three?) more faces that will also be showing up.

“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.”

If the name Hugo Strange sounds familiar, it’s because he was the main antagonist in the Batman: Arkham City video game. A brilliant but malevolent psychiatric doctor, he’s twisted men into monsters through his treatments, and also managed to discover Batman’s secret identity, becoming obsessed with Bruce Wayne. With Bruce still just being a young boy in Gotham, there will be no secret identity to discover yet, but you can be sure he will still be getting up to no good somehow.


Strange won’t be the only addition, as Gotham will have their own version of Two-Face, the insane, scarred villain with a thing for duality. But from the sound of it, we’ll see him prior to his psychotic break, when he was still noble Harvey Dent. Just not quite the Harvey Dent we know. Or at least not quite the Harvey Dent that Bruce Wayne knows, because otherwise that would also make him a young boy

“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 its 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.”

Heller also spoke to IGN separately to address the recent rumours that they were planning on teasing the appearance of the Joker by having a character in each episode of the show that showed off one of his traits and could potentially become the Clown Prince of Crime one day. Those rumours may have been exaggerated just a tad though.

“We will be playing with… Not just with Joker. Half the fun with all of these characters is who is going to turn into what and when? Certainly the Joker is a good example. In the pilot, you see there’s a comedian there. People immediately leap… And that’s really letting the audience do our work for us. Because I haven’t said anything about that guy and people go there!”

“Yeah, we’ll play with that down the line. Not over the course of one season, no, because people will still get tired of that. ‘Is that the Joker? Is that the Joker?’ No. In a subtle way, we’ll be doing that and hopefully we’ll fool them in the end.”

The showrunner also shed some light on just why it is Poison Ivy’s name has been changed from Pamela Isley to Ivy Pepper, but since that actually is a bit of SPOILER about the character’s future, I’ll leave up to you on whether or not you want to read it.

Gotham also stars Ben McKenzie, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Zabryna Guevara, Erin Richards, Donal Logue, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Mazouz and Camren Bicondova. The show is set to premiere on Fox on September 22, 2014.

Last Updated: July 24, 2014

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