Gotham: Breaking Down the Extended Trailer Beat By Beat

In the time it took us to break down the first, 47-second trailer for Gotham, FOX's upcoming, Jim [...]


In the time it took us to break down the first, 47-second trailer for Gotham, FOX's upcoming, Jim Gordon-centric Batman prequel series, the network released a second, much longer trailer with a lot more to scrutinize. It's an embarrassment of riches, and there's a lot to speculate about. IMDb will be helping to guide us here, although we'll come right out up front and say that if someone hasn't officially been announced, IMDb is not always a solid guide. It's helpful to have names to put with the as-yet-unannounced faces, though, and IMDb helps with that (mostly). And, well, because of the new trailer coming along, this is going to be a late one for those of us on the East Coast. So, let's dive in...


The trailer opens on a shot of the city from the air. It's pretty standard stuff. Since the show was shot in New York, it's safe to assume that this is a digitally touched-up version of New York.


Cut to Gordon having a private conversation with an older man, who is espousing his love for Gotham but his fear for its future. This scene is presumably important, since it's in both cuts of the trailer. The man is well-dressed and about 30 years older than Gordon, seemingly suggesting he could be either Gordon's father or a superior on the police force/other sort of mentor. Why are they meeting in this shabby spot? Possibly just to be free from the prying eyes of dirty cops. Could he be a mobster? Perhaps this spot isn't to protect them but just convenient. The show has been described as depicting the move from traditional organized crime into supervillains, so maybe his cautionary language isn't about CRIME but super-crime.


There are some generic shots of the city as he says, "Sometimes I think this place is cursed," followed by a blurry depiction of three men carrying something (someone?) into what looks like an old garage or abandoned factory. The something is apparently a hostage as one of the men kicks down toward the camera. The voice-over says that he [the anonymous man speaking, who doesn't seem to be on the show's IMDb page) won't let the city go down without a fight. Could he be the one being kicked to death here, by gangsters or dirty cops? Doesn't seem unlikely. Mentors rarely last long on a series like this.


Cut to a shot of the mayor making a statement regarding the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne. He's visibly shaken and ranting about how the bad guys won't win. It makes it hard to tell whether he's genuinely affected or whether he, too, is morally gray. The mayor here is played by Richard Kind, who played Mayor Randall Winston's press secretary, Paul Lassiter, on Spin City for years. He's also lent his voice to a number of animated productions, including Pixar movies. The "WEBG" News logo has no special meaning in the DC Universe, as far as I can tell. It certainly isn't one of the main networks, like WGBS, which was run in Gotham by Alan Scott for years and has at various times employed Lois Lane, Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen.


During that speech, there's stunned silence at the Police Department, with Harvey Bullock looking sad, Gordon looking at his partner suspiciously and a blurry female-shaped person in the background also seemingly shocked and saddened. It seems likely from a slightly darker complexion that the female-shaped blob is probably Renee Montoya, who is listed as appearing in the show, played by Victoria Cartagena. Given the awards and plaques on the wall, they could be in Captain Essen's office -- played by Zabryna Guevara -- but the woman behind Bullock doesn't look dark-skinned enough to be Guevara. Of course, that could be a lighting thing. Montoya hasn't been officially announced yet, but in addition to the IMDb entry, I understand independently that, yes, she's in the pilot.


There is a brief shot of a group of police officers -- probably including Bullock and Gordon -- making their way through police tape to an outdoor crime scene. Then there's the first appearance of Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Taylor), who is warning Gordon that there's a war coming and that there will be blood in the streets. The two are outsdoors and Cobblepot's face is a bit bloodied. Could he have received a beating from Bullock before coming into contact with Gordon? Doesn't seem impossible given not only Bullock's comics history but his "we're at war" attitude on display in the trailer. His prophecy of "a terrible war" is set against an angry, also-bloodied Gordon and then shots of the city, including what looks like a massive fire shot from the sky. Before that, you see a shot of the Gotham skyline from much closer up, including one building that's got three peaks, not entirely unlike the center point of Batman's logo. You can see it below, second from right, followed by the fire.


Cut to a shot of Bullock introducing Gordon to two people in a diner.


Those two may be Montoya and Crispus Allen, both listed on IMDb and both reported to appear in the pilot according to my sources. Allen is listed as One Life to Live's Andrew Stewart-Jones on IMDb and the African-American guy in this shot not only looks like him but with the bald head looks a bit like Cris Allen from the comics, too. The hair on the woman facing away from us looks different from the one in the office, so likely one of the two isn't Renee Montoya. Who's the other? Anybody's guess for now. Maybe Essen.


Next up is Fish Mooney, who implies that Gordon is capable of going dark. He's got "danger in [his] eyes." Mooney, played by Jada Pinkett-Smith, is the season's big bad with a contract that's only for a year. She's not based on a character from the comics, so she's a bit of a wild card. Her dialogue later seems to indicate that she's simply taking an opportunity to take charge of a rudderless organized crime ship. Could the man being stomped earlier have been a mob boss?


Next up, it's Bullock's turn to try and convince Gordon that Gotham is a war zone. He tells Gordon that he's been in a war before and Gordon says that was different. It's likely he'll be a Vietnam vet. It looks like the show is taking place in the '80s, and while he's pretty young to have been a Vietnam vet at that point, it's hard to imagine where else he would have distinguished himself during the time period.


His final, frustrated declaration that "This is war! We're at war!" prefaces the attack on the Waynes by a masked shooter who doesn't ask for anything, just fires off a round into each of the two parents. It seems likely, then, that we're going with some kind of conspiracy to target the Waynes, rather than a random robbery which would have included a line demanding their money and valuables.


Then again, it could have been skipped in editing the trailer. When we see Martha shot, her trademark pearls are missing. Heck, her neck already looks bare above, where she's just looking scared at her husband being shot. It's also interesting that the killer -- we'll call him Joe Chill for the sake of discussion but here he's not named and on IMDb it appears someone is credited with "assailant -- is wearing a mask. In most versions of the story, he isn't, and some fans online are speculating what it might mean that he's wearing one here.


We get a few shots in succession -- Bruce mourning his parents, then the parents, still in the same spot on the street, covered and being looked at by Bullock and other cops. Gordon joins quickly and looks concerned, but apparently shifts his focus to Bruce pretty soon after.


The two introduce themselves to one another, Bruce wrapped in a blanket. Gordon promises Bruce that he'll find the killer.


A few quick cuts later, we see Bruce and Alfred, along with a seemingly-really-shaken and mourning mayor, at his parents' funeral. Bruce claims that he's working to overcome fear, and Gordon tells him that fear is good because it helps teach you where "the edge" is.


We discover that the mayor's name is Aubrey James on posters plastered to the front of Fish Mooney's place. This is when she says that "if someone's going to take over" Gotham, it miht as well be her. Cut back to the older gentleman saying the city is on a knife-edge. Bullock makes his way through a strip club, then tells Gordon (in another setting) that Gotham "is not a city for nice guys." In the comics, of course, Bullock has often walked the edge between clean and dirty as a cop.


We see Gordon chasing a suspect, then making out on the couch with a pretty woman who is presumably his fiancee (his affair with Sara Essen in the Frank Miller comics may come up at some point but it's doubtful -- and if it did, it would likely have to be after Barbara is born). Barbara Kean, Gordon's fiancee, is played by Breaking In's Erin Richards.


Then we see Fish Mooney, furious or upset and swinging a chair. It looks like the person she hits with it is Cobblepot, who's back on screen again next, being led to the edge of a pier by Gordon, who looks to throw him off.


What's he done to make everyone so mad?


We get a quick glimpse at someone who appears to be the mystery man from the start of the trailer walking into a locale that looks like Fish Mooney's place, followed by a gun to the back of Cobblepot's head (Gordon's) and then Bruce Wayne with blood on his hands in the alley.


After Gordon finally tosses Penguin into the water, we get a shot of Bullock, apparently watching from afar, sitting on the car with a barrel next to him marked biohazard and a number of shipping containers. That's all a bit suspect...


We hear some audio of Gordon encouraging Bruce that however dark and scary the world is, there will be light, over shots of Gordon with his wife, then Selina Kyle climbing a fence to case Wayne Manor (her butt to the camera is very feline; my own cat does that sometimes when I'm trying to type). She appears to be in broad daylight and clearly visible but that car (apparently Gordon's and Bullock's) doesn't see her?


After all of that, you get Bruce standing on the roof of the manor, looking like he hopes to fall off.


Then we get one last look at Selina on the gate before we start to get title cards for people who will one day be super-people.


Cobblepot gets a "before Penguin" title card, and this close-up on him holding the umbrella and laughing is the first time I've noticed that he's got a malformed hand like some versions of the character do in the comics and other media.


"Before Catwoman" means Selina, a couple of years older than Bruce here, beats him to the rooftops and gargoyles he'll be so fond of later in life.


"Before Riddler" gives us our first look at Cory Michael Smith in costume as Edward Nygma.


"Before Poison Ivy" does the same for "Ivy Pepper," apparently this universe's version of Dr. Pamela Isley, who's more Bruce's age than most of the rest of the soon-to-be baddies. She's played here by Clare Foley. There's then another shot of young Bruce as "Before Batman," followed by a more interesting shot of Fish Mooney hitting somebody with a baseball bat while a group of goons watch and Cobblepot holds her umbrella for her.


(Who wants to bet that umbrella becomes a symbol of his submission to her and his first umbrella gun is a Rube Goldberg device to kill her?)


Then Cobblepot, apparently fresh out of his dip in the water at the hands of Gordon, splatters some guy's blood all over some rocks at the water's edge. We get a shot of Bullock that's...familiar.


...then one last shot of Gordon with his gun drawn before the Gotham skyline logo and the FOX logo. Check out the full trailer below...