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Heller: ‘Gotham’ Is About Heroes Not Superheroes #TCA14

If you’re looking for Batman, don’t expect to find him in Fox’s Gotham.

“It’s as much about the hope and struggle that they [the people of Gotham] are engaged in as waiting for a savior,” said executive producer Bruce Heller during the show’s TCA summer press tour panel Sunday. “It’s about men and women not about a superhero. And to me that’s the more interesting story.”

Heller, who fielded questions about whether Gotham would appeal to comic book fans, said that the series focuses on the origin stories and because of that audience members might not get to see full-fledged villains or a superhero over the life of the show. But he sees the fact that there are people who know and love the stories as a good thing.

“I think that’s one of the great advantages of this world and this story is that people do know where this is going,” said Heller, who was joined on stage by stars Cory Michael Smith, Camren Bicondova, Robin Lord Taylor, Jada Pinkett Smith, Donal Logue and Ben McKenzie along with executive producer and director Danny Cannon.

McKenzie, who plays Det. James Gordon, added that “it’s how you get there” that’s fascinating.

McKenzie’s character is an integral part of the pilot and will continue to play a large role in the series.

“Gordon is the moral lynchpin of the show,” said Heller, explaining that Gordon was responsible for creating Batman in a way as he allowed him to fight crime in the city.

Other highlights from the panel included:

—Heller said the show doesn’t take place in a particular time period. “It’s yesterday, today and tomorrow at the same time. That’s the world that dreams live in.”

—The city is itself a character in the show. “If there is a superhero in the show it’s Gotham,” said Heller.

Gotham is a violent show and one critic raised a concern about it. “I think violence when you show it should be disturbing,” said Heller. “That’s the only moral way to show violence.

—Pinkett Smith was asked about female villains and whether or not she thought they were scarier. “I think women make very interesting villains because I think often times what drives a woman in all our stories is very different than what we’re used to seeing.”

“There are corners of a woman’s darkness that are not seen very often and can be terrifying,” she added.