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Given the project’s title, it’s certainly understandable that fans might draw a connection between the newly announced Fox drama Gotham and the former DC Comics police procedural Gotham Central. However, as far as Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka know, one has nothing to do with the other.
I don’t know anything about that Gotham show, and I have no idea if it’s anything to do with Gotham Central in any way. I’m guessing not,” Brubaker, who co-wrote the comic with Rucka, said on Twitter shortly after the announcement. “[…] I only point this out because people keep congratulating me and as far as I can tell, this show has nothing to do with Gotham Central. And it’s weird to be congratulated mistakenly.”
But even if the show did have a connection to Gotham Central, Rucka wrote on his blog, “that wouldn’t matter, because DC owns the rights and the characters, as they should. This was work-for-hire, something all of us knew at the start.”
Gotham, which has been given a series commitment by Fox, is said to explore the origins of Jim Gordon and some of the city’s villains. Developed by Bruno Heller (Rome, The Mentalist), it centers on Gordon as a detective with the Gotham City Police Department, before he ever met Batman.
Created by Rucka, Brubaker and Michael Lark, Gotham Central was published from 2003 to 2006, and focused on the members of the Major Crimes Unit as they dealt with the city’s costumed criminals. While critically acclaimed — its “Half a Life” story arc won an Eisner and a Harvey award — the title struggled for sales in the direct market. Still, a television adaptation has been rumored for the better part of a decade — but there was one major obstacle: the rejuvenated Batman movie franchise.
“Everyone at Warner Bros. really loved it,” Brubaker repeated in an interview with USA Today, which coincidentally appeared over the weekend. “Chris Nolan after they did Birds of Prey had asked them to just please not do any Batman-related stuff until he was done with his trilogy — looking at Birds of Prey, you can see why. It was not the world’s greatest pilot.”
Rucka, who confessed he was “as surprised and delighted as everyone to hear they were making a ‘young Gordon’ cop show,” said he hasn’t been contacted by anyone involved with Gotham, but would be happy to hear from them.
“I wish FOX and DC Entertainment success with the show,” he wrote, concluding, “That’s it. No drama, no trauma.”