DC has a lot planned for the first season of Gotham and intend to do a lot of world building, including introducing Dr. Hugo Strange and Arkham Asylum in its first season. IGN sat down with Bruno Heller, the executive producer and show runner for a brief chat and he spoke about Hugo Strange.
“Hugo Strange is going to pop up because we’re going to start dealing with how Arkham was created and why Arkham was created in the way that it was so, yeah, absolutely. It’s a Season One thing because in our telling of it the way Arkham was created and the why and how is one of the causes of the particular criminal climate in Gotham that allowed Batman to happen. The revolving door of Arkham is both a brilliant narrative device because it allows you to — you don’t have to kill people off, you can just put them in cold storage — but if you’re telling the story from the start you kind of have to explain, ‘What the f***? Why don’t you make that place a place people don’t escape from?’ We’re going to explain why it is the way it is and Hugo Strange is a big part of that.”
Along with the man who would become obsessed with Batman, Harvey Dent will be appearing in the first season of Gotham. However, Dent will not be a child like Bruce will be, but closer in age to Jim Gordon.
“We’re playing Harvey Dent slightly older. He’s more Gordon’s age in this telling. One of the things to avoid in order not to tell a high school story — which would be great, but it”s a different show on a different network at a different time that I would not be a part of. But he will go back to school and villains will be part of that world.”
Heller spoke about that they don’t want to feel pressured or forced to use famous villains just to have them appear, but rather that they have enough characters for the show and to have stories for seasons down the line. When asked about Ra’s Al Ghul, someone who’s already been mentioned on The CW’s Arrow, the question was raised if he could be used or not on Gotham, since he is traditionally a Batman villain first and foremost.
That’s a good meta-physical, trans-network question. I don’t think it would preclude anything, but I think it would be tough to do cross-overs because the worlds are so different. Like I said, there’s so many rich, great characters that we can’t get them all in there.”
Gotham‘s other executive producer and director of the plot episode, Danny Cannon, mentioned that the viewers will learn how Poison Ivy and possibly even Mr. Freeze will become fascinated with their fields of studies. Heller and Cannon admit that they rely heavily on the assistance of Geoff Johns to expose them to all these characters, hoping that they’ll get more seasons to introduce and fully flesh out more characters.