Gotham season two kicked off Monday night with a new, more serial nature and the much-hyped subtitle to the season, “Rise of the Villains.” That rise was shown right off in the first episode, SPOILERS AHEAD, with an Arkham breakout, new characters introduced, and a death designed to show folks who exactly is giving the orders around Gotham City nowadays. Meanwhile, Penguin is the king of the underworld, and even Nygma is seeing his dark side quite literally trying to break out of him. END OF SPOILERS
But those new villains in particular, the Galavan siblings, struck our interest. When the first image of Theo Galavan and the man who turned out to just be a bit of a loon in a costume cropped up, it made us start thinking about the Court of Owls. Coupled with the fact that Jessica Lucas and James Frain told me during a set visit that they were on “a mission of revenge” and had “a long family history in Gotham City,” it seemed like this relatively new part of the DC Universe might be getting a live screen adaptation sooner than later.
During a phone conversation with executive producer and showrunner Bruno Heller, he candidly talked about fan theories, telling ComicBook.com, “everyone’s opinion has been valid and has to be listened to,” expounding on the fact that the characters and concepts they’re playing with are “about the interplay between what we’re doing and what the audience would like to see and how they react.”
In that vein, I asked, well, what about the theory that the Galavan siblings’ long history in Gotham means the Court of Owls is coming, or is that at least something he’s interested in exploring?
“Yeah, absolutely, [I'm interested]. I won’t say that it’s part of – I don’t even want to say that, because I don’t want to spoil part of the story,” Heller said after a bit of a chuckle. He continued, “The Court of Owls is deep, deep, deep Gotham mythology. The comic book fans know about it, but I would suspect the larger audience is not so familiar. We sometimes have to make a distinction between the ‘Nolan-era Batman movie fans’ and the comic book fans. It’s not that they’re two separate audiences, just that there are two levels of engagement. Court of Owls is very much deep DC mythology.
“We are absolutely going to explore that world down the line. Looking at the longevity of the show, we have to hold some cards back, we can’t just throw all of the elements, all of the story at once,” he explained - he even noted earlier during the conversation that he felt they made a mistake trying to throw too much into season one. Heller didn’t mince words, though, and did say definitively, “The long arc of the show is Bruce Wayne’s journey of discovery down into the depths of the physical and meta-physical world of Gotham. The Court of Owls is a brilliant conceit that will absolutely be part of our storytelling. I just won’t tell you when.”
The Court of Owls debuted in the “New 52” era of DC Comics that saw every issue relaunched in a new, modern version of their universe. In the Batman comic book by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, they revealed that Gotham City has had a secret society behind it for generations known as the Court of Owls. Populated by some of Gotham’s oldest families, the Court uses their assassins known as Talons (think slightly less-trained and more-psychotic versions of Batman) to alter the course of the city’s history.
Will the Galavans be the entry into the Court, with their century-old grudge against the city and its families? Perhaps, but one way or another, Gotham fans, the Court of Owls is “absolutely” on its way.
Stay tuned to ComicBook.com for much more from Bruno Heller on Gotham season two, lessons learned, and what's to come, soon.