Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched Gotham's bonkers season finale.
With its deadly Season 4 finale, Gotham set the stage not only for its fifth and final season, but for an event so catastrophic that the only possible outcome is for a grown man to eventually dress up like a bat and do the damned thing. Jeremiah and Ra's al Ghul's "No Man's Land" scheme will presumably be in full focus when Season 5 arrives, giving Bruce Wayne his toughest challenges yet. When CinemaBlend recently spoke with writer and executive producer John Stephens, I asked about the show's approach to adding different Batman elements to Bruce's life, and here's what he teased about Season 5.
I feel like we've given him a whole bunch of stuff. But next year, we have more elements of the persona to have him start to juggle. Like the idea of...we have him juggle multiple identities next year. And that's gonna cause its own problems and cause him to regress in other ways. So yeah, it's not a straight line, but I'm not that concerned about it. We're not breaking for the finish line of him being Batman.
Gotham fans have seen Bruce Wayne testing his abilities to take on different personalities, in a sense, when he'd trade off between his vigilante side and his arrogant playboy side. But having Bruce take on wholly different identities is obviously on a different wavelength, and is an important talent to hone in these early days. After all, there needs to be a reason why people wouldn't just automatically assume Batman is Bruce Wayne when half of his face is still showing. So knowing how to slip in and out of different identities will be key to the hero's eventual dominance.
John Stephens spoke with us a few days prior to Gotham's Season 5 renewal, which was also cemented as its final season on Fox. As such, there may admittedly have been some changes made in the meantime to how Bruce's story goes in Season 5, but then again, Stephens stated the creative team went "full-bore" in crafting Season 4's denouement with the expectations that Season 5 would get ordered. And he definitely had concrete ideas in mind for where things would be heading. So I'd guess that Bruce's identity swaps will still be around, and will hopefully import the actual Matches Malone storyline from the comics. (Just with a different name used, since Gotham already made its own Malone references.)
We've seen David Mazouz's Bruce Wayne develop the cape and cowl prototypes, we've seen him get a flashy Batmobile-esque vehicle, we've seen an actual bat-man (and a Man-Bat), and Gotham's villains have provided untold numbers of Batman mythos references. The finale even brought a spotlight into the mix. Still no Batman, though. And while talking to John Stephens, I remarked that after four seasons of Gotham's grinning insanity, fans don't really seem to be clamoring for the Caped Crusader's arrival as loudly as it got in the early days. His response:
I think that's true. I think they've accepted the characters for who they really are now.
Not only have fans accepted them, but we adore them. I mean, not in the sense that we'd dig up anyone's corpse and use it to take over the GCPD, but it's adoration all the same.
For now, Gotham's future is slightly brighter than Gotham City's dark island future, with Season 5 set to debut on Fox at some point in 2019. While waiting, check out the other Batman prequel that Gotham creator Bruno Heller put together, and then head to our summer premiere schedule to see all the new and returning shows heading to the small screen soon.