Why The Joker Name Can't Be Used On ‘Gotham’ Revealed

It's the Batman villain fans have been waiting for on Gotham and Cameron Monaghan had some sobering words on when we'll see the Joker, if ever. The actor plays Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska on the FOX superhero television series, and told fans the show is prohibited from officially dubbing his character "the Joker."

In a tweet posted Saturday, Monaghan shared a look at various hair tests for the DC Comics series, explaining his purple, red, and black hairstyles:

"Pure green was off-limits to us (as well as the name "Joker"), a decision from high-up as they wanted to reserve these for films," Monaghan wrote. "A decision which ultimately I respect. They did not want to dilute the very lucrative brand. It allowed for creativity on our end."

The Joker is played on the big screen by Jared Leto, who premiered in 2016's Suicide Squad and is expected to reprise the role of the tattoo-sporting criminal moving forward in both sequels and Harley Quinn spinoffs.

Studio Warner Bros. is also developing a Joker movie separate from the shared DC Extended Universe, to be produced by Martin Scorsese and directed by The Hangover's Todd Phillips. The origin story will reportedly adapt The Killing Joke and could star Joaquin Phoenix.

Gotham executive producer Danny Cannon recently confirmed to ComicBook.com the small screen character wouldn't be referred to as "the Joker" despite Jeremiah's obvious connections to Batman's iconic archfoe.

"This is an origin show about the beginnings of everything, therefore we just wanted to do the beginnings of why," Cannon said.

"When we first did the pilot, we were trying to create a world where someone like Batman would be necessary, and that's what we've done these last four years. If you want to survive as a villain in Gotham, you've got to think big."

"I'm more than a man," Jeremiah's twisted twin brother Jerome told Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) before his second, and final, death. "I'm an idea. A philosophy. And I will live on in the shadows within Gotham's discontent. You'll be seeing me soon."

Cannon described Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime as "not being one person," but as "a personality."

"It's a way of thinking," Cannon told us.

"It's more powerful than just one person. Therefore, that sparked the conversation of, if it's the opposite of good, the opposite of Bruce Wayne, is somebody who just wants to destroy, and wants to do it in a chaotic way, then that could be anyone, because you are literally just going the opposite of your main character and take it as far as you can go. I don't think that's just one person. I think that is a way of life, it's an ideology."

Monaghan told Nerdist Jerome was originally slated to "be beheaded and that was going to be it for him" in episode 3x14, "Mad City: The Gentle Art of Making Enemies."

"Ultimately," the actor said, "they decided that instead we'll go the opposite way and really embrace the idea of the character being involved in the Joker mythos."

Similar limitations were placed on The CW DC Comics adaptation Arrow, also a Warner Bros. Television production, which is sometimes prohibited from using Deathstroke — a character the movie studio has plans for in the form of actor Joe Manganiello, who made his debut as the character in the Justice League post-credits scene.


"These are DC's characters, we're just renting them," Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim said in December. "So we use the characters that they tell us we can use when we can use them, and we work around whatever limitations that places us."

The fate of Gotham season 5 currently remains up in the air.