Was that really the Joker we saw in the promo for tonight's Gotham? Here's what Bruno Heller says

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Feb 16, 2015, 10:21 AM EST

Tonight’s episode of Fox's Gotham is supposed to be all about Dick Grayson's (aka Batman's future sidekick Robin) circus acrobats folks, the Flying Graysons. That's what we thought until we saw the promo at the end of last week’s episode, “The Scarecrow,” when we were teased with a snippet of footage of Shameless actor Cameron Monaghan as a fairly disturbed-looking young man with an eerie and VERY familiar laugh.

The promo for “The Blind Fortune Teller” shows us Monaghan in the role of Jerome, and we gotta say: The looks of him, the maniacal evil grin on his face, and that laugh all point to him being the future Clown Prince of Crime — and since we knew that the Joker was heading to Gotham City at some point in the near future, it feels like a slam dunk to us. But was that really the Joker (or rather, an early version of him) being interrogated by Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) we saw in the promo? According to showrunner Bruno Heller, “not necessarily,” he told TV Line. OK, then. So, what does Heller mean by that? The former Rome showrunner continued by adding:

“it’s not a bait-and-switch or red herring. That character is the true beginning of the Joker saga — the first page of the first chapter of the story that brings the villain known as Joker to life. And that’s what I’ll say about that!”

Promises, promises. In another interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Heller had a bit more to say about the iconic DC comic book character:

“The great fun of this show is that it's the origin story of these famous characters, and with The Joker, the wonderful thing is that nobody knows where he came from and what his genesis was. What I can guarantee is that you have to follow that brilliant young actor Cameron Monaghan down the line, and you will see how this leads to the character we all know and love.”

Bruno Heller is, of course, not saying whether Jerome will be revealed as the Batman nemesis fans already know and totally love to hate. However, he reveals that the character has been weighing on his mind ever since he began work on Gotham

“In the pantheon of villains, he's the dark king of this world, so it would be cheating the audience if we didn't get into that," he says. "On the other hand, as those who are deep into the mythology know, the actual Joker — the full-on villain himself — does not appear until after Batman appears. That's both a narrative opportunity and a narrative problem at the same time.”

Have a look at the promo:

What do you guys think? Will Jerome turn out to be the Joker? If not, how do you think he’ll tie in to the iconic comic book villain?

(The Hollywood Reporter, TV Line, via Comic Book Movie)