Gotham executive producer Danny Cannon reveals which villains will rise in Season 2

Contributed by
Jul 28, 2015

We already know the theme of Gotham Season 2 is "Rise of the Villains," but who exactly will they be? Per a recent interview Blastr had with executive producer/director Danny Cannon and cast, expect quite a few.  

"We find the Mr. Freeze story very emotional," Cannon revealed. "So that's one we are going to look at. Hugo Strange is a very interesting character who has never had an origin story, as is the Calendar Man. Azrael is a character we are starting very, very, very way back. And Tigress also."

That means quite a loaded season of new faces crawling up the ranks of Gotham's crime circuit, but don't discount those already there.

The character of Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) was introduced in the back end of Season 1, and Cannon teased that the character could be the earliest incarnation of the future Joker. At the start of  Season 2 Jerome is in Arkham. Cannon added that "Barbara Kean is also put in there the first episode. It's in the wing of Arkham where the worst of the worst are kept. And an event happens that allows him to be involved in the next few episodes."

Actress Erin Richards, who plays the fallen Barbara Kean, said she is thrilled to head toward the dark side. Richards describes Barbara's entrance into Arkham as a "saunter" in a little dress that sets a stellar tone. "She has no concept of what's happening. She goes into Arkham and she meets all these characters, one of which is Jerome. These characters are going to shape her a little bit. They all shape the way Barbara develops in this series. But, she's also kind of at the reins. She's so free and in touch with her real stuff now. And her skill is she knows everyone's weakness. She will just play along with each individual person until she gets what she wants. She's going to be really powerful, which is exciting."

Many have speculated Barbara is a likely candidate to turn into fan-favorite villainess Harley Quinn, to which Richards only offered, " I have read that. I thought that would be really fun. She could be anything right now. She has so many options available to her. She could be her own villain. But it would be fun, but for now I'd like to see how [Suicide Squad's] Margot Robbie is going to come out with [Harley]. She'll be great."

Another comer into the villain crowd this season will be actor Cory Michael Smith's Edward Nygma, the future Riddler. Smith revealed Season 2 will still be early days for his character's arc. "We're not dealing with a villain yet. He's not someone having mal-intentions yet. He just wants to be happy. He wants people to like him. He wants love. He wants friends. He wants love and respect. We're still with good intentions, but he's got to gain some power."

"At the end of season one, [Edward] just explodes," Smith continued. "He has to change. He has to try something different. The beginning of Season 2 will be him having to confront this voice, very literally this other person who is saying, 'Dude, take control. Do something. Make a choice.' He has to adjust to that and make changes. So I'm kind of getting to play two enigmas, which is really exciting. Eventually these two will collide. He has to find a new identity."

And what about Jim Gordon, who is now realizing the good guys rarely win in Gotham? Actor Ben McKenzie shared, "Immediately in the first episode back, you'll see a deal [Jim has] with Mr. Cobblepot [Robin Lord Taylor] that has extremely negative consequences. Jim has learned he has to do what he has to do to get things done. It's a real change for him to throw morality to the side -- still doing the greater good in his mind -- but it's a little sad to watch that go away. But that is the journey we are going on. What he's learning is how to get power in Gotham and how you hold onto that power, and how do you dispense that power. You only do that by playing pretty rough."

How rough? McKenzie laughed, "Even Harvey [Donal Logue] starts to go, 'Whoa, don't go that far! Come back!'"

Gotham Season 2 returns Sept. 21, 2015.

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