Cameron Monaghan Explains Why Gotham Introduced Jeremiah
One of the biggest discussion points for Gotham fans has always been the mystery surrounding the Joker’s origins on the show. Due to Cameron Monaghan’s terrific performance as Jerome Valeska, it looked like a done deal that this young lunatic would grow up to become the Clown Prince of Crime. However, the cast and crew kept ruling it out as a possibility.
In the back-half of season 4, the truth was finally revealed: Jerome actually has a twin brother and, with that character having now died, it’s obvious that Jeremiah will become the Joker instead. This bait-and-switch approach came as a surprise to fans, as it’s a unique take on the supervillain’s origins to say the least. But why did Gotham decide to introduce the Joker in this way?
Cameron Monaghan spoke to CinemaBlend recently and revealed that the idea came about due to various reasons, but mostly because it was decided that Jerome didn’t embody all of the characteristics that make up the Joker, such as having an intrinsic connection to his future nemesis Bruce Wayne. And so, a different, but very similar, character was brought in to fill the criminal’s purple shoes instead.
“Some of it came from, we like to do a lot of playing around with doubling on the show, you know? Also like a scene from the books. We wanted to keep on playing with the ideas of the Joker, and also ways of telling the audience that Jerome is not our Joker — not The Joker, even if he was our Joker — or that he’s doing another version of The Joker on the show who’s also not The Joker. [laughs] But the idea was: Jerome, as chaotic and anarchic as the acting can be, doesn’t embody all of the qualities that would go on to eventually be The Joker.
So we asked ourselves how could we take some of those qualities and embed them in another character, and the most obvious way to do that was to give Jerome a twin brother. So in creating Jeremiah, we wanted to give him [pieces from] different books, like the idea that he and Batman are paired together in a way, whether they’re like brothers or two sides of the same coin — whatever you want to say. So giving that to Jeremiah, creating a psychosis where Jerome is not the brother he should have had, but that Bruce is the brother he should have had.
Continuing on, he said:
So he gets to entertain whether he wants to drive Bruce insane, which gave us the opportunity in tomorrow night’s episode to play our version of The Killing Joke, which you can see in all the iconography whenever you watch the episode. In ‘One Bad Day,’ rather than trying to drive Gordon insane as in does in [Alan] Moore’s book, here he’s trying to drive Bruce insane so the two of them can be paired together.”
As Monaghan says, tonight’s episode of Gotham promises to be an all-important one for both Bruce and Jeremiah. Much like the storyline of Alan Moore’s seminal graphic novel, the latter will attempt to drive Master Wayne insane as a way of proving that they’re more similar than he would care to admit.
In the promo for the episode, Jeremiah teases that Bruce is about to undergo a “very transformative experience.” Does this mean that we could be seeing the dawn of both Batman and the Joker in these final outings of Gotham season 4? Tune in to find out!