Mild spoilers below for Gotham's series finale, among other things, so be sure you're all caught up.
In closing out its final season, Gotham launched viewers to the point in Gotham City's future when Bruce Wayne finally returned to his crime-ridden home turf in full Dark Knight glory. Of course, the episode held its focus on all the other colorful and iconic characters that have populated Gotham throughout its five seasons, granting Jim Gordon, Barbara Kean, Oswald Cobblepot, Ed Nygma and others a fond comic-book-infused farewell. But could these characters return in our future one day?
The #1 hope, of course, is for another network or studio to hurry up and pick up where Gotham left off, but even if it takes time, there are feasible ways to jump back into Gotham's story. It's not likely that every single cast member would be able to pick back up where their characters left off, but CinemaBlend asked a handful of stars, including Cameron Monaghan, if they would be down to return. Let's run through their answers.
Cameron Monaghan - Jeremiah / J / The Joker
Of all the elements that made Gotham such a blazing romp, its greatest weapon was the sporadically utilized Cameron Monaghan, who inspired increasingly Joker-esque pandemonium as both Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska, as well as the finale's Mr. J. Oker. (Not the actual character name, but wouldn't that be a hoot.) Thinking about Gotham returning in the future without Monaghan's sadistic villain – or even just his laugh – is a bummer, so it's a good thing we don't need to do that.
CinemaBlend spoke with Cameron Monaghan for this year's Television Critics Association winter press tour, which took place ahead of the finale's airing, but after the principal photography was shot. The actor was very pumped for fans to get a load of Jeremiah's final turn, and I had to ask if he would be interested in reprising Gotham's version of The Joker in the future. His response:
Yeah, maybe. I think that it just depends on the context that it's within. I think that this specific version probably wouldn't be used if I was to return to it. It would be in a different capacity. It's like one of those things, because The Joker, to me, is like the most distilled version of an antagonist ever, and he is the counterpoint to whatever he's in a scene against. And he needs to shift depending on the context around him. So if I was to return back with these characters, he would probably be different, and reinvented again, you know? It's one of those things where he has to be completely tailor-made to the tone and the story of whatever it is he's a part of. So I would be willing to go back if the story was good and it made sense, but it would probably be different.
The last time we got to see Cameron Monaghan's Joker was in his first face-off against Bruce Wayne's Batman, although it was a severely short-lived one. The scarred-up J took a Batarang through the hand, and then one to the top of the dome, which knocked him clean out, though it definitely didn't kill him.
Considering the finale was viewers's big introduction to the post-Arkham Jeremiah, it would make total sense for his next appearance to head down a different creative route. Assuming the next Gotham project would get to feature more of Batman, that would automatically change the writers' approach to weaving a Joker storyline into it. And I'd love to see it, if someone can just make it happen. Someone?
Ben McKenzie - Commissioner Jim Gordon
If there was a load-bearing character on Gotham, it would definitely be Ben McKenzie's Jim Gordon, as close to a working-class superhero as there is. The fact that the finale even hinted at him trying to quit the GCPD was surprising, given the character's legacy, but the story obviously worked itself out in Gotham City's favor. Even if he had to shave to make it happen.
I also got to talk to Ben McKenzie during TCA, where we talked about him facing fellow former teen hunk Shane West as Bane. McKenzie is a pragmatic actor who loved his time on Gotham, even if he didn't flip out with excitement over Batman's arrival. But would he return to play Jim Gordon again someday? His answer:
Sure. Possibly. I mean I think that, in the right context, sure. I think this, for what we were doing here, we really bookended it in a way that feels true and honest to the characters that have been fleshed out here. So this feels like a real ending. But if in the future, it were to come back around again in some way, yeah of course, I'd always be open to thinking about and talking about that, and doing it possibly. I mean, I've mainly played three characters in 15 years, you know? Three different shows, and each of them kind of stick with you a little bit, and it's fun to re-explore and think about again, if you haven't thought about them a lot.
Three different shows that might seemingly have three very different fan demographics, too. Ben McKenzie starred in both the teen drama The O.C. and the non-comic cop drama Southland before hanging his hat in Gotham City, and I've no doubt that fans of both of those shows would love to see them get revived in some form or fashion.
Regardless of any of that, though, Ben McKenzie sounds like he'd be willing to slick his hair back anew to lead the GCPD against whatever dangerous threats lie over the horizon. Just imagine if the newest recruit on the squad was his Southland character Ben Sherman, and if Joker's newest henchman was The O.C.'s Ryan Atwell.
Robin Lord Taylor - Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin
After five seasons of watching Robin Lord Taylor committing some Penguin-lite acts as Oswald Cobblepot, Gotham fans were introduced to the most genuine iteration of The Penguin that TV has seen since Burgess Meredith waddled around for the 60's Batman series. The penultimate episode injured his eye to set up the monocle, and a rough decade in Arkham Asylum led to his weight gain and heightened levels of frustrated anger.
I got to talk to Robin Lord Taylor on the phone just ahead of the finale's airing, and he seemed to still be riding that one-of-a-kind Gotham high, championing the work he got to do alongside Cory Michael Smith as Ed Nygma. When I asked Taylor if he would ever want to get uncomfortable in The Penguin's signature garb again in the future, he was down, but only if his co-stars were making the return with him.
Absolutely. I totally would. It would have to be the right circumstances. I don't think I could do it...in fact, I know I couldn't do it unless the actors I worked with on Gotham came back as well. It's like, there's no way I could be in a scene with a different Riddler. I couldn't do it. It wouldn't be justice. It would be blasphemous to what we had done before. So again, if the circumstances were right, in a heartbeat I would be there.
As great as Oswald and Ed were in Gotham's first 99 episodes, seeing them in pure Penguin 'n' Riddler glory was a gloriously batty punctuation mark on the series' run. (A question mark, of course.) Any follow-up version of Gotham would be severely lacking if Taylor's Oswald and Smith's Ed were absent. However, Robin Lord Taylor wouldn't begrudge another team picking up where the Fox drama left off. In his words:
You never know. All I put out there is that whoever takes up the mantle of the Dark Knight or any of the amazing characters that we got to put in Gotham, that they have as beautiful a crew and cast as we have. Because that's really the success of the show. It was built on the backs of many. No one takes full credit for being successful in this show. We all came together in this spectacular moment, and I feel like we just made something really amazing, and I'm just so proud of it.
Again, it should be stated that any future Gotham-y project that doesn't have Robin Lord Taylor's Penguin and Cory Michael Smith's Riddler is not the ideal iteration of that project. So other decisions should probably be made. Soon.
David Mazouz - Bruce Wayne / The Dark Knight
David Mazouz's potential to return to Gotham's universe would a little trickier than what would happen for the others. As viewers witnessed – or didn't witness, as it were – Mazouz's Bruce Wayne was completely absent from the series finale, which wasn't announced ahead of time like Camren Bicondova's absence was. (She was replaced as Selina by Lily Simmons.) That was, of course, due to the actor's young age not exactly matching up with Bruce's for the finale's flash-forward.
As such, I didn't directly ask him about reprising Bruce Wayne for a future Gotham project, I did ask if he'd be down to play Batman on the big screen. His answer did not take long to formulate.
Oh, absolutely. I think I would need to be a little bit older, a little bit taller.
While that probably won't happen either, assuming that new Batman movie doesn't get postponed for more years on end, David Mazouz did have some pretty sweet advice for whatever actor does take on the role of Bruce Wayne in the future.
I know there's a new Bruce that's going to be cast soon. I'm sure whoever they cast is going to do an incredible job. All I can say is that it's my philosophy that if you're going to do something, do it well. There's no point in doing something a half-assed. That's kind of always how I've functioned. So I feel because of what I've taken on, I sometimes decline challenges because I say to myself, 'I know I'm not going to be able to do my best on that.' And that's not acceptable to me. If I do something, I'm going to do my best. And I think this job was no exception, and it's pushed me to some limits and it's challenged me in ways that I'm forever grateful for. I feel like this role has changed me in so many ways, and this experience has changed me in so many ways, and all for the better. And I know it sounds so cliche and like, you've heard it a million times, but I'm just so grateful. It really comes down to that.
All that said, David Mazouz spoke so highly of his experience on Gotham, especially in the final season, that he would very likely return for more small screen vigilantism should anyone come calling. Now, someone, start calling!