As much as I’ve come to enjoy Gotham and have taken a shine to its principal cast, I’m not ashamed to admit that my favorite character has been that of Jerome Valeska, a wickedly brilliant proto-Joker brought to life by Cameron Monaghan. To date, the producers have been deliberate in saying that he’s not exactly the Clown Prince of Crime we’ve come to know, but I’d argue that the young actor’s performance is the most true to the comics as anything we’ve seen in live action.
Holding out hope, I was starting to believe the path the writers carved out for the resurrected knave was aligning with the Joker we love. After all, the guy enjoys amusement parks and adopted looks that are homages to Death of the Family and Endgame, a couple of modern Batman classics crafted by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. In other words, I was beginning to think he’s not called “Joker” as not to interfere with anything going on in the DC Extended Universe.
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Actually, I thought my beliefs were seeing some validation when the trailer for the midseason premiere proudly featured a Joker card. But now, David Mazouz, Bruce Wayne himself, has helped put my hopes to bed by saying the following when appearing on Discussing Film:
“He’s not the Joker, that’s all I’m saying. He’s definitely the inspiration for the Joker and the way that the Joker comes into the show is one of the most brilliant things Gotham has ever done.”
So, before I completely rage out, let’s see what Monaghan had to add to this discussion on Twitter (via ComicBook.com), before deleting it:
“I can confirm. What we’ve cooked up and discussed is something not to be missed. It’s a twist on familiar themes, both new and old echoes of the mythos. Something entirely new, but we believe true to the spirit of the show as well as the comics. Proud I got to be a part of it.”
I’m definitely going to wait and see how this plays out before giving my final verdict, but the very notion that the Joker would be a copycat and follow somebody else’s act suggests the producers don’t understand the character very well. Even if the end result is handled properly, thin ice has already been tread upon.
Furthermore, what both gentlemen had to say hints that the Joker has not only possibly been cast for Gotham, but that his parts have already been shot as well. Hopefully, we’ll soon learn exactly when this spring the show will return, because the wait is getting increasingly agonizing, wouldn’t you say?