While chatting with press at SDCC this weekend, Executive Producer John Stephens revealed that the second season of Gotham will move away from a story-of-the week method, opting instead for ongoing character arcs and development.
“Bad things will happen and there are villains, but it’s really a saga about the characters who live inside Gotham and their lives,” he said. “So it’s much more fun to write, and I think it’s more fun for the actors to act. I feel like we are taking a big evolutionary step towards the Gotham that we know from the comic books.”
Showrunner Bruno Heller said the change happened as the show found its audience.
“The first season on any show is very much kind of finding its feet, finding out what works, what the audience responds to, and what kind of animal you have,” he said. “The second season is more like, we understand this game now… so this second season is very much allowing us to stretch our legs.”
Stephens added that the popularity of serialized storytelling and binge watching of other shows, such as Game of Thrones, encouraged them to make the switch, though the length of the season presents obstacles.
“It’s tricky to do it over 22 episodes, because you have to build a lot of story,” he said.
David Mazouz, who portrays a young Bruce Wayne on the show, said as a result of the new direction, he expects his character will be less isolated from the ensemble in the upcoming season.
“He’s going to start to go out more and interact with some new characters, and I feel like that’s going to be cool, because you haven’t really seen him do that,” he said. “I think in the first season I worked with three series regulars, and there’s like 15 of them.”
Gotham also intends to deliver more villains next season, with Victor Freeze, Clayface, and Jerome’s transformation into a proto-Joker.
Meanwhile, fan favorite villain Robin Lord Taylor, who plays the Penguin on the series, says he will continue to delight in the stark differences between this on-screen persona and his own.
“I won’t even send food back at a restaurant,” he said, when asked if he was anything like his character.
Gotham returns on Sept. 21 on Fox.