FX's new series spins out of the Warner Brothers/DC Comics Batman universe, a co-production deal between the two studios. It is not specifically linked to any one Batman story, rather it seems to draw on the wider Batman comics, TV and film mythos built up over the decades, and is set in a time before Batman appears in the fictional crime-ridden Gotham city which he has always been associated with.
The trailer confirms visually what we have already known from press releases and leaks. Bruce Wayne appears as his younger, recently orphaned self, so that key element of the Batman mythos still stands (the trailer actually shows his parents getting shot, in quite explicit detail actually). With Bruce too young to be Batman however in this series, the main protagonist for us to look to as, the trailer makes clear, is rookie detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie). Gordon looks set to be our main man, the classic wannabe-good cop forced to the edge by a dirty city, as he dives into the Gotham underworld and begins to fight the corruption that will presumably spur Batman to rise and join forces with him. The trailer shows scenes of Bruce and Gordon interacting following his parents death, suggesting that from this relationship, maybe one of mentor/surrogate son, Bruce will come to choose Gordon over the course of the series as his chief ally in the war against crime. Judging from the gritty tone of the trailer, this will be an NYP Blue +Arrow type affair, though the presence of many of the carnival-esque villains in the wider story- like the Penguin and Poison Ivy - raises questions as to how the show will feel tonally. Will it go 'Nolan' and eschew anything that can't be 'realistically' explained by modern science, or perhaps take the approach of the Batman Arkham games and fuse the Nolan-esque downbeat mood and adult violence with the more wacky elements of the Batman universe like Clayface and Killer Croc? Will the series end, as Smallville did, with the hero finally putting the cape and cowl on?
Fox already gave the show a series commitment, trusting the early feedback and solid buzz. Gotham arrives this fall.
You can read the official synopsis here from FX:
Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world's greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon's story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world's most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker?
"Gotham" is an origin story of the great DC Comics super villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist,” “Rome”), "Gotham" follows one cop's rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.
Growing up in Gotham City's surrounding suburbs, James Gordon (Ben McKenzie, “Southland,” “The O.C.”) romanticized the city as a glamorous and exciting metropolis where his late father once served as a successful district attorney. Now, two weeks into his new job as a Gotham City detective and engaged to his beloved fiancée, Barbara Kean (Erin Richards, Open Grave, “Breaking In”), Gordon is living his dream – even as he hopes to restore the city back to the pure version he remembers it was as a kid.
Brave, honest and ready to prove himself, the newly-minted detective is partnered with the brash, but shrewd police legend Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue, “Sons of Anarchy,” “Terriers,” “Vikings,” “Copper”), as the two stumble upon the city's highest-profile case ever: the murder of local billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne. At the scene of the crime, Gordon meets the sole survivor: the Waynes' hauntingly intense 12-year-old son, Bruce (David Mazouz, “Touch”), toward whom the young detective feels an inexplicable kinship. Moved by the boy's profound loss, Gordon vows to catch the killer.
As he navigates the often-underhanded politics of Gotham's criminal justice system, Gordon will confront imposing gang boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith, The Matrix films, “HawthoRNe,” Collateral), and many of the characters who will become some of fiction's most renowned, enduring villains, including a teenaged Selina Kyle/the future Catwoman (acting newcomer Camren Bicondova) and Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor, “The Walking Dead,” Another Earth).
Although the crime drama will follow Gordon's turbulent and singular rise through the Gotham City police department, led by Police Captain Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara, “Burn Notice”), it also will focus on the unlikely friendship Gordon forms with the young heir to the Wayne fortune, who is being raised by his unflappable butler, Alfred (Sean Pertwee, "Camelot," “Elementary”). It is a friendship that will last them all of their lives, playing a crucial role in helping the young boy eventually become the crusader he's destined to be.