Some characters from the Batman mythos have well-worn histories in live-action that make them instantly iconic. In the case of Lucius Fox, however, Morgan Freeman was the only performer to fill Fox's shoes until Gotham's Chris Chalk came around. As a result, that lack of onscreen competition (along with the notable age gap between versions) have apparently made Chalk less worried about following Freeman's portrayal with his own. Speaking with CinemaBlend and other outlets during a roundtable discussion at the recent DC in D.C 2018 event, the Gotham actor explained:
I'm lucky because it's only him. It's him and cartoons and video games. And so, all I have to do -- I have to do more than show up -- but because he is the definitive in our brain, because he's the only one, anything else I do that honors the storytelling is super valid. And that's the exciting part, that I get to create this thing that he can't even touch, because he's 900 years old. [laughs] He is the oldest person. He was old when he was young. He has always looked like this. But it's kind of a nice little pocket. To play him at that age, forget about it. 'Nah, nah, Morgan Freeman did it. No, I'm not gonna do it.' But because I have this 40-year gap to build my version, it's exciting.
These remarks followed a question on how Chris Chalk approached portraying a younger version of Lucius Fox on Gotham that still gave the character the kind of credibility established by Morgan Freeman in The Dark Knight trilogy. Per his remarks, the strength in his performance so far lies in the fact that he gets to shift away from Freeman's older and fully established Lucius so that he can try something different, albeit equally valid. As Freeman is the only other live-action Lucius, he just has to do something decidedly not Freeman-esque to stand out.
It's hard to deny that he has a point. While Chris Chalk gets to offer up a glimpse at a proper Lucius Fox origin story, the decision to cast Morgan Freeman in the role in Batman Begins (one he would then reprise in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises) lent the character an instant sense of elder statesman gravitas. Which isn't to disparage the voice work delivered by those who portrayed Lucius Fox in animated form, such as Lou Gossett Jr., Phil LaMarr and Brock Peters.
That's also not to say that Chris Chalk's version of Lucius Fox isn't inching closer to the more traditional version of the character who first entered live-action in Batman Begins. Gotham's Fox has evolved steadily enough over the course of his tenure on the Batman prequel series, leaving the corrupted Wayne Enterprises behind to work directly with the Gotham City Police Department. Now, with the maturing Bruce Wayne inching ever closer to his eventual status as Batman, Chalk's take on Fox has found himself in the position to soon start developing the technologies that will ultimately aid The Caped Crusader in his quest to defeat criminals in Gotham City.