Last month, it was announced that James Frain had been cast to play Theo Galavan, Gotham Season 2’s main antagonist. A billionaire industrialist, Theo and his sister Tabitha have deep rooted connections with the city’s history. However, when he returns to Gotham City, he will enact a sinister plan to bend the metropolis to his will under the guise of being its savior. Batman fans will recognize that Theo doesn’t originate from the comics, but now it’s been revealed that he holds connections to a longtime foe of the Caped Crusader, either directly or indirectly.
Executive producer Danny Cannon revealed to TV Guide that Theo will be the key to the “origins of a very famous DC villain.” While he wouldn’t elaborate on this mystery villain’s identity, he did mention that Frain’s character will rely on Gotham’s other villains to help him. According to Cannon:
This season is about how one man will unleash and empower the villains and make them understand that they are more powerful than the people fighting against them. They are the pioneers for Gotham. They are the ones who will change things because with chaos and destruction is the only way you can build. You can't rebuild a city without first destroying it.
Admittedly, this isn’t a lot of information to work on, but with so many Batman villains having already appeared or set to appear, the list of candidates grows smaller. Notables rogues of the Caped Crusader already announced for Season 2 include Mr. Freeze, Clayface, Mad Hatter, Calendar Man and Hugo Strange, but from what we know about Theo, none of these men sound like him. Fortunately, there’s one Batman villain that fits Theo’s M.O.: Ra’s al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins.
Introduced in 1971, Ra’s al Ghul has cemented himself as one of Batman’s most dangerous foes over the decades, and Theo’s goal to bring the city to its knees matches many of Ra’s previous plots in various media, especially in the 2005 film Batman Begins. Ra’s is also one of the few individuals that has the clout to bring all of these villains together, though that’s not to say they won’t try to stab him in the back given the opportunity.
However, that’s not to say that Theo is Ra’s himself. It’s possible that he is simply working with Ra’s because they share similar goals, or perhaps somehow Theo will lead to the creation of the title Ra’s al Ghul. One thing to keep in mind is that so far Gotham has avoided the more supernatural elements of Batman’s world, so if Ra’s al Ghul is introduced, he may not be the centuries old warrior that he is in the comics. Ra’s most recently appeared in live action as the main antagonist in Arrow Season 3 (played by Matt Nable), but since those shows aren’t connected, this would allow Gotham to put their own spin on the villain, should this be the direction the show is headed in.
While it may be a while before we learn which DC villain Theo is connected to, we’ll see the beginnings of his plan when Gotham Season 2 premieres on Monday, September 21 on Fox.