Skip to main content

5 Fascinating Things You Should Know About The Failed Batman TV Project

Aside from the legendary 1960s TV series, Batman barely had any history with live-action television until September 2014, when Fox’s Gotham premiered. While Bruno Heller's prequel series does include a young Bruce Wayne years before he puts on the cape and cowl, the show focuses on Detective James Gordon and his interactions with the interesting individuals of Gotham City, including younger versions of several future Batman villains. However, if things had gone differently in the pitching process, we might have seen a completely different version of Gotham on our TV screens.

Voices From Krypton has posted an exclusive look at the Batman TV show, also named Gotham, that was prepped to be pitched at the same time as the prequel airing right now. Written by Harry Locke IV, this series would explored the unusual events happening in Gotham City from the perspective of its citizens rather than its shadowy vigilante. There’s a lot to take in from the treatment, character descriptions and summary of the pilot, but here are the five things you should know about the Batman series that never was.

5. The Main Character Isn’t From The Comics

5. The Main Character Wasn’t From The Comics

Rather than focusing on Batman, this show’s main character would have been Olivia Sage, the 21-year old daughter of police officer Nicholas Sage and a university psychiatry major. Olivia’s mother passed away 10 year before the show’s first episode “Beacon,” and the pilot would have featured her mourning the loss of her also-dead sister Amber, who was murdered. The series would have followed Olivia as she attempted to seek revenge for her sister’s death all while navigating the dangers of Gotham City.

4. There’s a Mob War Brewing

4. There Was A Mob War Brewing

Much like the version airing on TV, this Gotham took its cue from the comics and had organized crime play an important role in the city’s happenings. Among the show’s main characters would have been Carmine Falcone, leader of the Falcone crime family, and his son Dominic, who was friends with Amber. The elder Falcone would also have interacted with Deacon Silva, whose family is described as an “enigmatic lot” that has an alliance with the Falcones. We later learn the Silvas are descendants of Ra’s al Ghul’s group The League of Shadows.

3. A Powerful Drug Is Tearing Gotham City Apart

3. A Powerful Drug Would Have Torn Gotham City Apart

In the series, Gotham City gets hit by an outbreak of a powerful hallucinogenic called Joker’s Wild, derived from Joker Venom, the signature weapon of Batman’s arch enemy. Amber, Dominic and their friends were taking it before they were attacked by rogue Gotham police officers. Joker’s henchwoman Harley Quinn claims he has nothing to do with its spread, leaving the distributor of the drug a mystery.

2. Many Familiar Villains Make Appearances

2. Many Familiar Villains Would Have Made Appearances

Unlike the prequel Gotham, this show would have featured several of Batman’s rogues gallery fully formed into their colorful selves. There would be Black Mask, whose criminal operations conflicted with Carmine Falcone; Harley Quinn, who Gotham Gazette reporter Kristian Rose interviewed to get information about Joker’s Wild; and The Riddler, who had crossed paths with Amber Sage in the past and formed a pact with Olivia in this version to take revenge against Black Mask and the Falcones.

One Of The Show’s Mysteries Is…A Chess Piece?!

One Of The Show’s Mysteries Was… A Chess Piece?!

While at her sister’s funeral, someone would have slipped a chess rook into Olivia’s purse quickly, whispering “Watch your move.” Later at the police station, Olivia would have seen the same rook in a crime scene photo of her sister’s body. In one of the pilot episode’s last scenes, she noticed that Detective Renee Montoya, who has feelings for her father, has a tattoo of a bird on her shoulder…a rook! We learn from the Riddler’s character description that he gave Amber the chess piece (which concealed a small blade in it), but the significance of the rook for the series as a whole will forever remain a mystery.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.