Fox has released a new extended trailer for their upcoming Batman prequel television series, Gotham.
The trailer shows Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) walking towards a crime scene, with several of the show’s major villains looking on. As his partner, Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue), lifts up the tarp to show the victim, we get a shot that includes a nice Joker-centric Easter egg.
Check out the trailer below:
You’ll notice in the video (or in the screen capture at the top of the post) that the blood pools to form a smile, with the shadowy silhouettes of Gordon and Bullock forming the eyes to complete a Joker face.
It looks awfully similar to some if the marketing used to promote Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, as seen here:
Calling this shot an Easter egg may actually be a misnomer. An Easter egg is usually a bit of trivia thrown into the background, or a throwaway line of dialog, that requires a preexisting knowledge of the subject matter to understand, or even notice, and that ultimately proves irrelevant to the story at hand.
That might not be the case with this scene. We know from previous interviews that Bruno Heller and his team have every intention of using the Joker in Gotham, so this could be less an Easter egg and more allusion and foreshadowing. The fact that it’s so similar to the marketing for The Dark Knight is likely either coincidence, or done intently because Heath Ledger’s Joker is the Joker that the show’s target demographic is most familiar with and, therefore, most likely to recognize.
Perhaps more interesting is what this could be foreshadowing. We know that Gordon and Bullock will be investigating the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s parents, during the course of the series. While the murder scene in the trailer does not appear to be the Waynes’ – Bruce Wayne does not appear in the trailer, there are no pearls, and there appears to be only one body – one might be able to make the leap that the Joker becomes somehow involved in the investigation.
Maybe the show will take a cue from Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and inexorably tie the Joker to Batman even more by making the Joker the one responsible for the death of Bruce’s parents. Or perhaps the Joker isn’t directly involved with the Waynes’ murder, but is on a separate murder spree that needs to be considered alongside the Wayne murder investigation. Or it could be that Heller is playing the long game and simply hinting at things to come way down the road for the series.
Gotham will premiere September 22 on Fox.