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Your Stupid Minds! Stupid! Stupid!

Casting Call For Fox’s Gotham Describes Bruce Wayne As Having “Tragic Gravitas” (I Don’t Even…)


We knew Batman wasn’t technically going to be a part of Fox’s Gotham TV series but that a young Bruce Wayne was. Some fans were already a bit iffy on the premise, especially the inclusion of some serious Bat-villains, but a new description of the character may leave them shaking their heads even more. And “tragic gravitas” is only part of it. 

The Gotham cast is looking pretty much set at this point, except for Bruce. Ben McKenzie is set to lead the series as Jim Gordon, Donal Logue will be assisting him as Harvey Bullock with the supporting cast of Sean Pertwee as Alfred, Zabryna Guevara is Sarah Essen, and Erin Richards as Barbara Kean. In addition, Robin Taylor has been cast as The Penguin. Other villains are set to appear but it’s likely they will roll them out as time goes on.

So what about Bruce? ComicBookMovie took a screenshot of casting details for the show from a site called Actor’s Access. It describes Bruce Wayne thusly:

11, son of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Dark haired, handsome, soulful, wise, strong willed. A kid with tragic gravitas…SERIES REGULAR

Handsome? Soulful? Wise? Granted, we don’t know where exactly this series is meant to start in Batman’s timeline but all of this just sounds so high-concept. Like they’re already placing traits on him of an older, more determined Bruce instead of an 11-year-old who just…I don’t know, goes to school and stuff? Maybe it’s just me but I’m not interested in seeing a young kid already working to become a vigilante. That’s a whole other story to be told. And seriously, don’t get me started on “tragic gravitas.”

Though The Hollywood Reporter’s Marc Bernardin wrote an interesting take on how he would like to see Gotham unfold on his personal blog:

Open with the Waynes sneaking out of a charity event, confronted by punks with malfeasance on their minds. Then the Waynes are SAVED by young Lt. Gordon.

Have Gordon become a friend to the Waynes, get to know young Bruce during happier times. The prince of the city and its knight defender. Gordon educates Thomas about where the city is hurting the most and Thomas begins directing his charities towards addressing those ills.

Show us who these men are before tragedy.

THEN, either halfway through or at the end of the first season, you have the Waynes at a similar event — make it a charity screening of Zorro — sneaking out the back, and getting gunned down. Without Gordon there to save them.

That way, the Gordon who drapes his jacket over a heartbroken boy isn’t a stranger being nice to an orphan, he’s a distraught man also grieving the loss of dear friends. Of good people in a bad world.

I like it but I have a strong feeling they’ll go for the tragedy first thing. The casting sheet also says they’ll start shooting the pilot in March so it’s likely we’ll see character shots soon-ish.

What are your thoughts on the character description?

(via Digital Spy, image via DeviantArt)

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  • locuas

    I would not use “wise” to describe young bruce. Handome? okay, soulful?…maybe but “wise”? i like to believe Bruce did not become wise until AFTER his training(maybe they mean wise in a different sense, that he already had a mind to solve riddles and stuff).

  • Harrison Grey

    Well, to be fair, young Bruce Wayne decided the night of his parents murder to wage a war on all crime until it’s gone, which is simultaneously adult level devotion and kid level unreasonableness, but I can see this description fitting that. Minus the tragic gravitas.

    From this description, though, I’m seriously picturing Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne at age 11. If we can get an 11 year old to wake up quipping and immediately drop to the floor to do a set of push ups, I just might change my opinion of this show. “Don’t you like Gotham Elementary, Master Bruce?” “I like Gotham Elementary just fine, Alfred, they just don’t feel the same about me.”

  • Fabian Öhlin

    Ditto. I just don’t see eleven-year-old Bruce being “wise”, Nor do I picture early-career Batman as wise, to be honest. “Wisdom” is not a trait I would necessarily associate with a young man who chooses to dress up as a bat and fight crime. Older Batman, maybe.
    Obviously, he still makes a habit of endangering orphans…

  • Harrison Grey

    If they meant ‘a mind for riddles’, I feel like they would use the word ‘brilliant’. ‘Wise’ makes me think they mean ‘wise beyond his years’. Which I’m not sure I’d even call older Batman wise, depending on the version.

  • Boom Cookie

    It’s Bruce Wayne. His parents are dead. Some kids are more ‘serious’ than just going to school, and stuff. Besides, actors need to know more than, “he’s a kid”. Not to mention the genius aspect of this kid. This article reads like a trolling (non)fangirl rant…

  • locuas

    and the sad thing is, his relationship with the robins and batgirls may be one of the healthiest in the DC universe…

  • locuas

    i wouldn’t go with “brilliant” either. Maybe if they meant he has a natural talent to be able to tell someone is hiding something or something similar, i could see it going that way.

  • Fabian Öhlin

    Well, there’s Plastic Man and whatever his son is named. I only saw them interact a couple of times, but that relationship seemed pretty solid.

  • locuas

    now that you mention it, has the son appeared in the New 52 so far?

  • Anonymous

    DARKNESS. NO PARENTS.

  • WheelchairNinja

    Blah blah blah Bruce Wayne blah blah blah Jim Gordon blah blah blah Alfred Pennyworth blah blah bl-WHY HAVE WE NOT CAST RENEE MONTOYA YET!!!!! We already have Harvey Bullock, but we need Montoya in order to have Gotham City’s *other* dynamic duo!

  • Fabian Öhlin

    Not that I know of. I’ll be honest, though, most of New 52 is of my radar nowadays.
    Hmm. My wiki task force informs me that his name is Offspring, no mention of him post-Final Crisis.

  • Fabian Öhlin

    He he, Offspring. It took me embarrasingly long to get the pun

  • Boom Cookie

    Haha, no one likes what I have to say. I agree with locuas about the ‘wise’ aspect. As for “tragic gravitas”, his parents were shot in front of his face, and he was then taunted by the killer. How does that not call for, at least, “tragic gravitas”. Is that really worse than saying “depressed and bitter angry”…?
    And did no one get my subtle Batman queues?! :*( Why so serious?

  • Lien

    I don’t understand why Jill here seem to be angry at the “Tragic gravitas” part. What’s wrong with having a sad kid?

  • Mark Brown

    I’d put Montoya at around the same age as Bruce Wayne, personally. She’d still be a kid at this point.

  • Mark Brown

    Yeah, this sounds pretty much as I’d describe young post-trauma Bruce Wayne.

    Consider that he’s basically suffering dissociative identity disorder at this point (between the Bruce that just saw his parents murdered and the Bruce that has walled himself off and is in “survival mode,” trying to analyze what just happened and determine rationally where to go from here).

  • Jamie Jeans

    I’ll take Thing I Am Sick Of Hearing About for 300, Alex.

    And wow, hah! That’s the casting call description? Yeah, good luck with that…

  • Anonymous

    Dunno about Jill, but personally I’m rolling my eyes extra hard at the word choice. “Tragic gravitas” would sound a little campy even when being applied to the adult Bruce, but an 11-year-old kid? Traumatized, shattered, serious, mature, OK. But “tragic” gets so overused that it ceases to have real meaning and “gravitas” makes it sound like they’re trying too hard to show how fancy they are.

    The whole description is a little over-the-top. I guess it’s to be expected from a show based on a comic book, but I’m not sure it’s the kind of comical they were aiming for. Especially given that they clearly mean Young Bruce to be Broody McBroodson of the Broodville McBroodsons (Broodville being located smack in the shattered heart of Broodtopia on the the Brooding Sea where their main exports are emo and- you’ll never guess- broodiness). I understand he’s just lost his parents in a horrible and life-scarring way, but dumping all those heavy words on top of him only makes it worse, in my opinion.

    I’m with Marc Bernardin: it’d be nice to see a bit of the Wayne Family before THE MOST TRAGICALLY TRAGIC THING THAT WAS EVER TRAGIC. Just to offset things a bit.

    But then again my favorite Batman is Adam West so that probably voids all my opinions. LOL!

  • Anonymous

    SUPER RICH!

  • WheelchairNinja

    KIND OF MAKES IT BETTER…

  • WheelchairNinja

    If they can have Jimmy Olson be the same age as Clark in Smallville they can have Montoya the same age as Bullock in Gotham.

    Then again, “they did it on Smallville” should never be an allowable rationale for anything. Ever. Even breathing.

  • Laura Truxillo

    CAVES!

  • Laura Truxillo

    I think “cunning” would almost be the word I’d pick there. Or clever (which comes with less tragic gravitas than “wise” to be sure, but still).

    Although “a mind to solve riddles” just really makes me want shenanigans with bitty-Bruce and Teeny-Eddie that much more…

  • Laura Truxillo

    Like, parental-like, or just relationships in general?

  • locuas

    parent like

  • Lien

    None sense! Adam West batman is best batman, don’t ya dare beat yourself down for thinking this. If anything, you opinion now has more values then the “broody era” batfans!

    And it is true i’d like to see more of the Wayne family before their demise… or at least more about the mother… seriously, that dame only had 3 lines in the entire Christopher Nolan trilogy!

  • Lien

    BROODY!

  • Anonymous

    So, basically, someone there caught “Empire of the Sun” on late night tv and thought “Hey, how about that kid! He looks PERFECT for that role! Oh… wait…”

  • Izzy.

    Obviously a little late to the gam here. The ‘tragic gravitas’ is a little heavy-handed. I’d personally like to see a kid getting into fights in the beginning of the series. Lashing out, taking his aggression out in the wrong ways. Finding his limits.
    The turning point may/may not be when a mentor steps in. Tough love, giving it to him straight…whatever. I’m thinking Alfred – as he did in #28 of the latest Batman books, when he talks to Bruce about Bruce punishing everyone, making them watch. Similar theme.
    There’s no end to the potential of a story like this. Growth of BW, relationships and cameos. There’s opportunity for amazingly re-thought or retold origin stories. You can catch hints or glimpses of who might become who (Joker, Nigma, Dent, etc). His relationship with Tommy could be interesting as well, especially as it plays out years later in HUSH.
    My 2 cents.