Gotham showrunner, Superbowl halftime show headliner, and longest reigning WWF Heavyweight Champion Bruno Heller gave an EXCLUSIVE (ooooooooh aaaahhhhhhh) interview to Entertainment Weekly today. In the interview, Heller proved he's got the biggest balls in all of show business by telling readers that, despite working on a show based on one of the most popular costumed-superhero franchises of all time, he doesn't like costumed superheroes:
For me, if they said, “Do Batman,” I would have said, “No.” I would have not been interested at all. I don’t think Batman works very well on TV — to have people behind masks. Frankly, all those superhero stories I’ve seen, I always love them until they get into the costume. And then it’s, “Oh, okay, they’ve ascended, they’ve stopped becoming humans.” It’s their apotheosis. They go to heaven and they’re Superman. There have been so many great versions of it. This is a version of something else entirely.
This was a theme Heller would repeat in the interview:
When thinking about how to enter the DC world for TV, certainly on network TV, to do shows about superheroes — about people who wear spandex costumes — that doesn’t work very well. We want to see people’s faces. TV is about emotion and character, not stunts and special effects. This is a way of entering that world in a fresh way.
And then again when discussing whether prequels limit the ability to tell meaningful stories:
It’s invigorating and expansive how many stories you can tell once you get away from the gravity of Batman. What happens with superheroes is they suck all the air out of the room. You can’t play a scene between two people when there’s a guy in a cape and a mask in the corner of the room.
But Heller's enormous balls don't stop there. He also said of the actor playing young Bruce Wayne:
Well, I will say [actor] David Mazouz is, without doubt, the best actor ever to play the part of Bruce Wayne. Without doubt — including the people who played Batman. He is a genuine prodigy of an actor, as you will see on screen. Frankly, before David was cast, I was ambivalent about how much we would use Bruce Wayne in the series.
Heller also dropped some details about the show, including promises that it will be far more serialized than procedural. The Joker will be making an appearance in the show, and he will be "more Heath Ledger than Cesar Romero." When asked whether he thought Gotham could live up to the recent Dark Knight trilogy, Heller said it was no sweat to top those:
I’m not at all concerned. Actually I would [pauses ... considers] — yeah, in that area, I would say in terms of what [director and executive producer Danny Cannon and director of photography David Stockton] are doing — visually — Gotham will surpass the Batman movies. The movies are a very rigorous, kind of Germanic take on that world. They’re visually stunning, but not particularly visually pleasurable. I would say this is much more on the street level of Gotham. There’s more people, it’s a more colorful place, it’s a more vivid place, it’s more crowded. The inspiration for me and Danny was New York in the ’70s, because we both remember that as a seminal moment, coming to the city for the first time. This is very much that kind of Gotham — intensely visual and three-dimensional and layered and gritty and dirty and sexy and dangerous. From that point of view — and it’s easy for me to say, I just have to write the thing, Danny and David have to visualize it — but I think you’ll see it’s fabulous.
Heller also trashed on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a bit in the interview. I have to say, all of this makes me more interested in this series than ever. What do you think? Here's the trailer that debuted earlier this week: