It has been announced that Harvey Dent, the district attorney who will one day become the villainous Two-Face, and Hugo Strange, the manipulative psychiatrist on a mission to break down the Dark Knight, will appear in FOX’s eagerly anticipated Gotham TV series.
However, while many of the characters revealed so far have been at the start of their careers, Dent – who is usually portrayed as a similar age to Bruce Wayne – will be changed to add a bit more weight to the show’s older cast.
“We’re playing Harvey Dent slightly older,” Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller told IGN.
“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 it’s 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.”
Strange – who is curiously underrated as a Batman foe – sounds as though he could be Gotham Season 1’s big bad, with his arc perhaps tying into the origins of many of the other characters, currently poised on the brink of madness.
It’s tough to hear Heller talk about the character and not immediately think of Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal, in which Hannibal Lecter pulls the strings of numerous second-tier psychopaths, helping to fulfil their dark potential.
“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,” reveals Heller.
“It’s a Season 1 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 fuck? 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.”
Gotham begins this autumn on Fox in the US. No UK air date has been announced. You can buy Batman: Year One for £7.69 at Amazon.co.uk and find out more about the comics that inspired the show with new digital magazine Uncanny Comics.