Gotham PD show in "Nolanverse" being developed by the WB

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Dream, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Of course artists should talk about these issues. But I've seen around eight hours of the Nolan/Goyer Gotham saga, and apart from "terrorism murder is bad", I don't see any attempt at making any kind of meaningful contribution to the national conversation. Oh, sure, there are feints and throwaway references to stuff like warrantless wiretapping, the Patriot Act and wealth inequality, but they're almost always immediately forgotten in favor of the next big plot twist, or some BS about the state of Officer Matthew Modine's courage. And while their visual representation of Gotham is deliberately contemporary and realistic, pretty much nothing else is.

    Mind, DC isn't alone in this. I have deep misgivings about, say, the nature, jurisdiction, and political accountability of SHIELD. (Never mind the fact that the US government totally owns Tony Stark's Arc reactor technology.) But while MCU entertainment also doesn't say anything remotely related to contemporary crime and punishment, it doesn't feed off of those issues as the Dark Knight trilogy does, either.

    Accusing someone of exploiting issues and cultural iconography with heavy racial implications for the purposes of a total fantasy narrative isn't nearly the same thing as accusing them of racism. And I don't care how long the comics have been around, when their adaptations of the same are very much rooted in the now. And "completely baseless"? Are eight hours of film not relevant to a proposed interquel to said films?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It is hardly unprecedented for comics characters to be reinterpreted for the screen. Look at Arrow. It uses a lot of characters from DC Comics but "grounds" them in a more naturalistic universe without superpowers. For instance, Count Vertigo becomes a drug kingpin who sells a vertigo-inducing street drug, and Firefly becomes a former fireman who's now a crazed arsonist.

    Besides, Batman's rogues' gallery includes a lot of gangster-type figures, like Rupert Thorne, Black Mask, and Maxie Zeus, and serial-killer types like Zsasz. They're not all costumed supervillains.

    Remember, in the Nolanverse, Batman wasn't needed because the criminals surpassed what the police could handle; he was needed because the police force was corrupt and ineffectual. What Nolan's Batman did was create a new sense of hope that inspired the Gothamites to take back the city for themselves, and under Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent, rebuild Gotham's police and judicial system so that they could handle crime themselves, thereby leaving Batman redundant. As I already said, that's why Batman retired at the end of TDK -- because he wasn't needed anymore. That was the whole point of the end of the movie. So this is a natural outgrowth of that. Sure, in the context of the comics or an animated version of Batman, it would be strange for Batman not to get involved in fighting major criminals, but in the context of the Nolanverse it is the natural, expected evolution from the end of TDK.


    What's the point of setting some cop shows in New York, others in Boston, others in San Francisco, and so on? What's the point of giving one detective an eidetic memory, another a knack for reading faces, another a forensic-scientist consultant, another a mystery-novelist partner, etc.? The goal is to follow a formula while also making each show a distinct enough variation on that formula to stand out.

    Besides, it's not about fictional settings versus real ones. It's about the fact that Nolan's Batman movies were hugely successful and profitable and so of course they'd want to ride those coattails somehow. Heck, Arrow is already an emulation of the Nolanverse's style and approach, and it's doing pretty well. Why wouldn't they want to promote a show as an actual part of that universe? There's money to be made there, and that's the answer to any and every question about why a television network or a movie studio makes a decision.


    Absolutely, yes, there are. It's been mentioned earlier in the thread that there has already been an ongoing comic-book series about the Gotham PD, Gotham Central. It didn't sell well, but it was critically acclaimed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  3. Set Harth

    Set Harth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Did this guy "Jonathan Nolan" have anything to do with TDK, in which the big, bad inner city residents, including hardened criminals, mysteriously did the right thing and declined to blow each other up at the risk of their own lives?
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I figure that's a rhetorical question, but yeah, he cowrote it.
     
  5. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I'll admit when I read the first couple posts of the thread I was skeptical, but as I think about this more it has potential. There seem to be plenty of police characters in the Batman comics that could be used in the show, and there are quite a few villains who would be easy to adapt into the Nolanverse that we never saw in the movies. With the most obvious ones (to me at least) being Penguin, The Riddler, and Black Mask. And there even some of the more fantastic ones would be easy to adapt in a similar style to what Arrow did with Vertigo and Firefly. For instance Poison Ivy could just become a bioterrorist who uses toxins, and Clayface could just be a master of disguise.
    Actually I just looked him up and the first Clayface wasn't even a shapeshifter, he was an actor who wore a mask for a character called Clayface. So they could just do a direct adaptation of that storyline with no real changes.
    I do think a show set in a more fantastic version of Gotham, with a part-plant/plant controling Poison Ivy and a shapeshifting Clayface could be a lot of fun, but this isn't totally without potential.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^And Victor Fries could be a cryonics scammer or something. Harleen Quinzel could be a therapist who has a secret fixation on the Joker and tries to become his copycat. Arnold Wesker could be a secret crime boss who gives his orders through a figurehead with a scarred face.
     
  7. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That was a nice moment, albeit one somewhat undone by TDKR's implication that many of those same hardened criminals gleefully participated in Bane's assault on the rich.

    My point in observing that the British-American Nolans are white wasn't to accuse them of racism, but rather to point out that they're unlikely to have much if any personal connection to contemporary American criminal justice processes. Small wonder, then, that their Gotham scripts are overflowing with talk of the mob this, the mafia that, and other organized crime the likes of which were all but stamped out decades ago: their research surely comes from watching The Godfather and Goodfellas, not reading the sociological reportage of, say, Sudhir Venkatesh.
     
  8. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My biggest potential problem with this series isn't that it's another cop show (although that's one of them), but that it's a prequel. This means that Gordon and Blake absolutely cannot die. None of the villains can be too dangerous or else Batman would come out of retirement to help out. Also, nothing too shocking can happen to change the status quo because it has to fit within the continuity of The Dark Knight Rises.

    A better idea would be to set the series after The Dark Knight Rises. Batman is dead (as far as people know), Harvey Dent has been revealed to be a fraud, and Gotham is in shambles. So much more potential for future story-telling without the limits inherent with a prequel.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    What makes you think either of those characters would be in the series at all? There's no way they'd get Gary Oldman for more than a guest shot in the pilot if they're lucky. As for Blake, he was a uniformed officer in TDKR, set 8 years after TDK. If the series is set closer to TDK, Blake would probably be a rookie at most, maybe not even enrolled in the police force yet.

    It's more likely the series would focus on other police characters -- maybe the Gotham Central cast including Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya, maybe Harvey Bullock, maybe a whole new set of original characters a la Agents of SHIELD. Maybe they'd get Matthew Modine to reprise his role from time to time -- he's probably more affordable than Oldman.


    I've debunked this two or three times already. He wasn't in any physical or mental condition to come casually "help out." It took a terrorist threat, a looming invasion of the city by a whole army, to bring him out of his self-imposed isolation, and even then he needed technological help to compensate for his physical impairment.


    How is that different from any other TV series? I don't recall Law & Order doing anything too shocking to change the status quo in New York City, since they were pretending to be in the real world and thus couldn't diverge too far from what was really happening. You can tell plenty of crime stories without blowing up the city.
     
  10. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was more than just a nice moment - it was the climactic conclusion (and failure) of everything the Joker was trying to prove.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Absolutely right. TDK wasn't about Batman and the Joker fighting each other, but about them fighting for the hearts and minds of the people of Gotham. Batman believed the people could embrace justice, while the Joker believed they would always sink into chaos. And the Gothamites -- or specifically "Tiny" Lister -- proved Batman right. That was the pivotal moment in the movie, the moment when Batman won and the Joker lost, even though neither man was actually there for it.
     
  12. Set Harth

    Set Harth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nice and unrealistic IMO.

    If it had been the real world those prisoners would have nuked the other boat in seconds. They're not lifers because they got caught jaywalking on a Tuesday or pissing on the sidewalk or something. We refer to them as hardened criminals because they are, in fact, hardened criminals. They're not nice people. Things like the assault on the rich would be just like the kind of stuff they had been doing which got them put away in the first place.
     
  13. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^The counter argument to that of course would be that the other boat load of "law abiding citizens" would come to the same conclusion and thus blow the convicts up first out of self preservation--otherwise known as "getting your self defense in first"--secure in the knowledge that they are more deserving of a continued existence...which was exactly the kind of crisis Joker intended to provoke.
     
  14. Sephiroth

    Sephiroth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't get this whole super hero shows without the supers idea, the Batman without Batman show is just gonna be a generic mob drama and The Avengers without The Avengers is going to be warehouse 13 where everyone stands around a water cooler discussing how Thor and Cap took out a legion of super-skrulls off screen last week while they were off searching for the McGuffin. If a show is going to be set in the Marvel-verse there are a billion unknown mutants, cosmic rays and radioactive everything giving every Tom, Dick, and Harry freaky super powers. I wana see the story of some unknown X-Mutant from Los Lunas try to make a difference.
     
  15. N-121973

    N-121973 Commander Red Shirt

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  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's not that hard to understand. For one thing, the general public isn't as comfortable with the way-out, fanciful aspects of superhero stories as comics fans are, so adapting those stories to have mass appeal means "grounding" them, making them more like the kind of stories that audiences are used to seeing and are comfortable with. You can expose mass audiences to the ideas and characters of superhero comics, but you have to dilute it for them or you'll scare them away. They can only take so much weirdness, because they're not as acclimated to it as we are. Even the successful superhero movies are relatively grounded, more naturalistic than the comics. Nolan's Batman is in a world that's played very naturalistically, although it has such fanciful things as a microwave weapon that can instantly vaporize water without hurting people and a fusion reactor that has a built-in countdown timer even though it's supposed to be impossible to turn it into a bomb. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had to ground things as well and ease audiences into the weirdness.

    The other outstanding consideration is money. A weekly TV series can't afford the extravagant action and effects that a feature film or a comic book or an animated cartoon can depict. So it's cost-effective to focus on the more normal human characters rather than the guys with the big flashy superpowers.
     
  17. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Using real cities is part of the charm for me. Without an Arrow who cares about a Star City? A viewer can't invest into a show. Without a Batman who cares about Gotham? It is the weakness of the Canadian cop shows which try to hide the fact they are Canadian so they can sell to American syndication as opposed to a Memphis Beat, The Glades, an In Plain Sight. The little local touches are force multipliers.

    Agents of Shield uses the entire marvelverse even without people being identified as mutants to explain the supernatural which is not a problem since New York survived an alien invasion and the Hulk and Tony Stark is flying around. I would think that Gotham would have to embrace the supernatural also with others like Kick Ass having followed the example of The Batman. I can see some crime lord calling himself the Riddler or the Penguin being talked about by the detectives, anti-crime SWAT or radio patrol car cops, whichever a Gotham PD focuses on. But in the end without the super powered or just the slightly extra powered Gotham PD is just Rookie Blue.
     
  18. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^This.

    Incidentally, unless things have changed, Batman on Film is a well-respected and credible site, so if it says that this a non-starter, I'd believe it.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't agree with that. Gotham City has been built up over the decades into a rich setting all its own, and there are a number of well-established Gotham PD characters with enduring popularity. If any DC-Universe city could stand on its own without its star superhero, it would be Gotham.


    Not so much anymore. Flashpoint hid its Toronto setting initially, but in later seasons it was pretty overt about it. And Continuum wholly embraces its Vancouver setting. (Not a cop show, but Primeval: New World was also pretty open about being set in Vancouver.)


    But very few of Batman's rogues have been superpowered. There are some, like Mr. Freeze and Clayface and Firefly and Mad Hatter, but mostly they're just very flamboyant psychopaths and gangsters with trademark gimmicks. (And really, given modern brain-interface technology, a character like the Mad Hatter isn't even that implausible anymore. That kind of mind control might be within the realm of possibility.)

    And again, if it's just another cop show, that's a bad thing for comics fans, but it's likely to be just what the network and advertisers would want -- a safe, established formula that they know will play in Peoria.

    Granted, it now sounds like they're not doing this after all -- but I see no reason why they couldn't theoretically do such a show.
     
  20. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would say it is not Gotham City as a setting which has the public, not the comic book geek, acceptance and knowledge. It Is The Joker, The Riddler, Mr Freeze and all that do.
     

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