Despite evidence to the contrary, Gotham executive producer John Stephens has confirmed that neither Jerome nor Jeremiah is the Joker.
In an interview with IGN, Stephens broke this surprising news. What is more interesting is that the reason behind it is both a creative and executive marketing decision.
Stephens on Jeremiah:
“Jeremiah is not the Joker. The other characters are who they are. Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, etcetera. But no, he isn’t the Joker. What we’ve always gone with is that Joker is somewhere out there, anonymous and unformed, in Gotham, and he’s watching the actions of Jeremiah and Jerome and possibly even another one, on his way somewhere down the line, and he’s adopting them as inspirations as the person he’ll one day become.”
Why No Joker on ‘Gotham’?
However, the real driving force for the choice is not the Gotham executives’ fault. Jeremiah/ Jerome actor Cameron Monaghan shed light on the situation on Twitter.
“Various hair tests. Pure green was off-limits to us (as well as the name “Joker”), a decision from high-up as they wanted to reserve these for films. A decision which ultimately I respect. They did not want to dilute the very lucrative brand. It allowed for creativity on our end.”
Pretty much, the film division says that the Joker is off-limits to Gotham for fear of diluting the brand. While not surprising, it is certainly disappointing. Gotham writers skirted the edge of the Joker-but-not-really for a long time. While their creativity is applauded, it also sort of is a smack in the face of the characterization.
Gotham‘s season four finale airs on May 17 on Fox.