Then, of course, there’s fan-favorite femme fatale Harley Quinn, who has long been rumored to show up on the series. Heller states that, while he’s very interested in bringing her into the fold, that won’t happen anytime soon and definitely not this season:
“One of the things about the size and scope and ambitious of this production is that—it’s not that there’s lots of chefs in the kitchen, but there’s a lot of people with opinions and views and inside knowledge. That aspect of the show—which characters to use and when — is a source of constant discussion. And that may well have been an issue that came up and was dropped. We haven’t got Harley Quinn in it. Riddler’s girlfriend is coming up. And Harley Quinn is definitely planned for later on, but so far no.”
When it comes down to it, Heller’s main concern is to not rush things, and introduce new characters slowly over the course of the entire series. Plenty of characters have shown up thus far, but Heller insists that that was part of the plan all along:
“You can’t just keep pumping these characters into the show in a comic book sort of way, because you get the Super Friends effect—which isn’t a bad effect, but then you have spaceships and need to go underwater and get wacky villains and the rest of it,” he said. “You have to work as a character piece first. First it has to be real.
We front-loaded [the show with iconic characters], which we had to do, both for story purposes and marketing purposes. We had to let people know it’s not just a hum-drum police procedural, it’s about these larger-than-life characters. If you do that you can’t just say, ‘Here’s one larger-than-life character, now wait for next season.’
Once we introduced the initial characters – Penguin, Riddler, Ivy, Selina – then we’ve slowed down with those aspects and we’re bringing in those iconic DC characters in a much more measured way, which was always the intention. You have to have that amount of spice in the show to make it pop and different. Once the wheels are turning, it’s much easier to bring those characters in in subtle, organic ways. That’s the plan, anyway.”
Whether or not that plan has paid off thus far is up for debate; I personally don’t mind seeing a handful of iconic characters this early, but feel that some, most notably Riddler and Selina Kyle, could have been handled with more care and should have debuted much later in the series. Still, I understand the need to hit the ground running, especially for marketing reasons.
Tell us, what do you think of Heller’s comments? Are you interested in seeing a “prenatal” Robin origin story, or Harley Quinn at some point down the line? Let us know in the comments section below.
Gotham airs on Monday nights on Fox at 8 pm.