Iconic Batman villain The Joker coming to Fox's Gotham sooner than we thought

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Jan 17, 2020, 1:51 PM EST (Updated)

The creative minds behind Fox’s breakout hit Gotham have never been coy about their plans to introduce the Joker in the Batman prequel series. But he’s apparently coming sooner than we thought.

Producer Bruno Heller revealed in an interview with TV Guide that the writers decided to use the extended full-season order to drop some breadcrumbs about Bruce Wayne’s most famous villain. The series was originally ordered at 16 episodes, but once the show turned out to be one of the few hits of the season, the network added six more to the back end.

With six extra hours to fill, it sounds like they’ve moved up plans to introduce the Joker. Heller promises they don’t want to get too deep into the Joker’s story in the prequel series (which makes sense, considering his existence is typically tied very closely to Batman’s presence in Gotham City), though they will address the character in some way:

“We've said you're going to be waiting a bit longer for it, but this is America -- nobody wants to wait. So, we will scratch the surface of that story, yes. But just scratch it -- a little tap on the door.”

Considering they’re already using the future Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman and Poison Ivy as major players in the prequel series, it’s not much of a surprise that the Joker would show up sooner rather than later. This series is one part prequel and one part easter egg farm, so there don’t seem to be many sacred cows here.

Though we’ll only get a little bit of the Joker, Heller teased we’ll see a lot more of Edward Nygma’s evolution into the Riddler. He’s already a bit of an odd duck, and it sounds like his burgeoning relationship with file clerk Kristen Kringle (Chelsea Spark) could go sideways soon, sending him into a downward spiral:

“Penguin [Robin Lord Taylor] was born a sociopath and was always going down this path one way or another. Nygma is someone who becomes the villain, and we see that journey begin in the second half of the season."

Gotham airs Monday nights on Fox. What do you think of the season so far?

(Via TV Guide)