Donal Logue On GOTHAM And BATMAN Fandom

Actor Donal Logue discusses his portrayal oh Det. Harvey Bullock on Fox's Gotham and the pressure of meeting the expectations of the many Batman fans around the world. "That fan base is the most ardent, loyal -- sometimes super-critical, but they think critically about it because they care about it."

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By Mark Julian - 6/17/2014
While speaking to CBR, following the screening of the pilot episode of Gotham, actor Donal Logue set a few minutes aside for the site to talk about what Gotham is trying to accomplish with his character, Harvey Bullock. Bullock is a character that's been a part of the Batman mythos for almost 40 years and while not hugely popular, he does have his fair share of fans. Was Logue daunted by such a large amount of source material to leaf through or did he embrace it? "There's a lot of [comics] -- there's "Gotham Central," there's just a lot of interesting literature where Bullock is a good guy. Bullock is also kind of a dirty [character] -- he saves the day, but he makes some mistakes. I think that's kind of what we're going to see over the course of this long form when we get into "Gotham."  He continues, "I mean, the thing is, there's been a few incarnations, but that's where I think Harvey's always been [in the middle of the road]. Ultimately, he has revealed himself to be a little bit of a fearless, good cop at heart. I'm fairly cynical. I believe a bit in moche politique -- you kind of have to get in bed with the devil. I think that's who he is. It's absurd to be that idealistic if Gotham is the Jungian shadow of the world, you know what I mean? So of course, it's up to Bruno. it's up to Danny Cannon where the individual storylines are going. After seeing the pilot, you see how my relationship with Jim Gordon will be tested when I'm like, "I was right, by the way, in that you have to do bad things in war to achieve bigger, better things. Can you do this?" "Yes." And does he or does he not? Ultimately, a lot of people suffer when people wuss out, which is what's going to happen, I think.

That's a pretty accurate description of Bullock by Logue so it's obvious that he's done his homework.  And if you look at his filmography,  Logue has definitely had previous roles that would fit the Bullock motif of tough, no fear, attitude slinging enforcers who are heroes at heart.  He's also played some despicable, bottom-of-the-barrell evil doers as well so it will be interesting to see where the showrunners take his character.

Logue also touched on the fanatical Batman fan base, many of which can be easily found around these parts.  Is dealing with that aspect of the show intimidating for Logue or is he looking to embrace it? "Oh, it's an honor. That fan base is the most ardent, loyal -- sometimes super-critical, but they think critically about it because they care about it," said the Sons of Anarchy actor.  He continued, "I think it's great. I accept all responsibility that comes with it. But I'm not scared by it. At the same time, we're also free to -- this is a new incarnation of it, and it's going to be different. I was never trying to do an imitation of the voice of Harvey Bullock in the animated series, and I think that when the legions of fans have this new version of the world of "Gotham," then they'll have this new bible to pore over that they'll feel their own proprietary sense of ownership with it, I hope."

Before there was Batman, there was GOTHAM. Everyone knows the name Commissioner Gordon. He is one of the crime world’s greatest foes, a man whose reputation is synonymous with law and order. But what is known of Gordon’s story and his rise from rookie detective to Police Commissioner? What did it take to navigate the multiple layers of corruption that secretly ruled Gotham City, the spawning ground of the world’s most iconic villains? And what circumstances created them – the larger-than-life personas who would become Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face and The Joker? GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told.

From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist,” “Rome”), GOTHAM follows one cop’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil, and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time. Growing up in Gotham City’s surrounding suburbs, JAMES GORDON (Ben McKenzie, “Southland,” “The O.C.”) romanticized the city as a glamorous and exciting metropolis where his late father once served as a successful district attorney. Now, two weeks into his new job as a Gotham City detective and engaged to his beloved fiancée, BARBARA KEAN (Erin Richards, “Open Grave,” “Breaking In”), Gordon is living his dream – even as he hopes to restore the city back to the pure version he remembers it was as a kid. Brave, honest and ready to prove himself, the newly-minted detective is partnered with the brash, but shrewd police legend HARVEY BULLOCK (Donal Logue, “Sons of Anarchy,” “Terriers,” “Vikings,” “Copper”), as the two stumble upon the city’s highest-profile case ever: the murder of local billionaires Thomas and Martha Wayne. At the scene of the crime, Gordon meets the sole survivor: the Waynes’ hauntingly intense 12-year-old son, BRUCE (David Mazouz, “Touch”), toward whom the young detective feels an inexplicable kinship. Moved by the boy’s profound loss, Gordon vows to catch the killer. As he navigates the often-underhanded politics of Gotham’s criminal justice system, Gordon will confront imposing gang boss FISH MOONEY (Jada Pinkett Smith, “The Matrix” franchise, “HawthoRNe”), and many of the characters who will become some of fiction’s most renowned, enduring villains, including a teenaged SELINA KYLE/the future CATWOMAN (acting newcomer Camren Bicondova) and OSWALD COBBLEPOT/THE PENGUIN (Robin Lord Taylor, “The Walking Dead”).While the crime drama will follow Gordon’s turbulent and singular rise through the Gotham City police department, led by Police Captain SARAH ESSEN (Zabryna Guevara, “Burn Notice”), it also will focus on the unlikely friendship Gordon forms with the young heir to the Wayne fortune, who is being raised by his unflappable butler, ALFRED (Sean Pertwee, “Camelot,” “Elementary”). It is a friendship that will last them all of their lives, playing a crucial role in helping the young boy eventually become the crusader he’s destined to be.

GOTHAM is based upon characters published by DC Entertainment and is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Executive producer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist”) wrote the pilot, which was directed and executive-produced by Emmy Award nominee Danny Cannon (the “CSI” franchise, “Nikita”). John Stephens will serve as an executive producer on the series.
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BatManiac - 6/17/2014, 4:01 AM
This cluster[frick] of a show is the epitome of [frick]ry.
SaxoWolf - 6/17/2014, 4:02 AM
I'm curious about Sean Pertwee's portrayal as Alfred.
Doopie - 6/17/2014, 4:09 AM
I'm interested. Let's hope everyone else involved has done their reading up too
staypuffed - 6/17/2014, 4:10 AM
I'm sure he'll be pretty good but I'm very skeptical about the rest of the show.
DropAload - 6/17/2014, 4:10 AM
Fox , CW is there really a difference in programming ?
SuperCat - 6/17/2014, 4:15 AM
Mothchild - 6/17/2014, 4:18 AM
Hell yeahz. Can't wait to see what this show is like.
DaddyTuesday - 6/17/2014, 4:35 AM
I want to get behind this show but I just can't. I don't really care anymore what they bring to the table as DC / Warner Bros just seem to be ashamed of our heroes and their costumes. All I see is yet another installment in the"make it dark" saga of superheroes at DC and if we could avoid seeing actual costumes that would be great too. As a survivor of the Smallville incident (a.k.a. The Superman massacre) I can't get behind a show that is pretty much the same thing only this time with Batman. And just like Smallville they have said the series will end with Bruce becoming Batman. Good luck with that. Unless the show jumps by 10 years in one season it will never happen or if it does it'll only ever be the flash of a cape or the silhouette of the cowl against the moon. I give it 3 seasons a the most and that's being generous.
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 4:42 AM
I've been a lifelong Batman fan. The vast majority of my comic book collection is Batman trade paperbacks. The Dark Knight is and always will be my favorite movie. That being said..... I'm more excited for the Flash than I am for this.
Super12 - 6/17/2014, 4:50 AM
Oh look, Batmaniac doesn't approve....shocker.
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 4:53 AM
A Smallville version of Batman would at least be interesting and ACTUALLY ABOUT THE CHARACTER WE WANT TO SEE, but this is about Gordon, the character who 1. doesn't dropkick thugs in alleyways 2. doesn't dress up in a bulletproof suit, 3. doesn't have a tragic backstory, and 4. isn't Batman.
DlAMONDZ - 6/17/2014, 5:01 AM
@Azbat

Same here. A show centered around Gotham without Batman sounds lame as hell.

I'll still give it a show doe.
RaleighAntrobus - 6/17/2014, 5:06 AM
I read the pilot script a few months ago and it was TERRIBLE.

Definitely passing on this show.
Jollem - 6/17/2014, 5:12 AM
very interested. the dirty streets of gotham
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 5:14 AM
It wouldn't even be so bad if they respected the timeline. I'd actually be very interested in a show about rookie cop Jim Gordon trying to figure out who this new "Bat-Man" is, while "freaks" are just starting to pop up.
brilaneb - 6/17/2014, 5:15 AM
Y'all complain too much. Give it a chance before you call for cancellation.
TheDarkKryptonian - 6/17/2014, 5:17 AM
Being a Batman fan, of course I'll give this show a chance. If I had written off shows simply based on their first impression, I would have never watched some of my favorite TV shows.
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 5:17 AM
@brilaneb

Not calling for cancellation. I'm hoping it surprises me by being amazing. I'm just disappointed they decided to go this route with my favorite character.
Batmate0 - 6/17/2014, 5:20 AM
I really think this has the potential to be a great show. Plus it's not like Bruce won't be in it, even though he isn't the main focus. Once they flesh out all the characters for a couple of seasons, it'd be cool if they did a time skip to when Bruce returns to Gotham ready to take the bad guys down, with the narrative focusing on him now.
Nubase - 6/17/2014, 5:20 AM
you need to remember this show is not totally aimed at comic book fans, it aimed at the general public all over the world and its what they think that is the most important and there are lots of them out there.

What we also need to remember is this show is a detective police drama, and that genre is very very popular on tv right now, l think this show will be popular, it will run for a whole season anyway cos FOX has grennlit a whole season order, we will know at the end of the first season but one review l read is that is it special, great casting, great action and the show was compared to 24 in terms of pace, we will see.
ScRipt69 - 6/17/2014, 5:34 AM
Why is this show getting hate, its an interpretation of the Batman, if you're not interested then don't watch it simple as that, so much negativity, no wonder you all hate yourselves. All the haters will be watching on day one. and loggin on after to slag it off, despite maybe even enjoying it, Emo wankers
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 5:34 AM
Not to change the subject (ok, totally to change the subject) but has anyone else seen that Lexcorp.com and Wayneenterprises.com are under construction?
brilaneb - 6/17/2014, 5:36 AM
@Azbat, I understand what you are saying, but ever since Keaton donned the suit, Batman became Box Office material. I don't know anyone who would want a Smallville type show with Batman, and content wise it would be too similar to Arrow. This approach actually intrigues me since they are going to the right of batman and trying to create a bigger universe with the ancillary characters. To me, it enhances the DC Universe and as a fan, gives me more stories and entertainment.
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 5:37 AM
@ScRipt69

1. that's my point. it's not.
2. I'm interested. Just not excited. I never said I wouldn't watch it.
3. I don't hate myself.
4. Yes they will.
5. Most likely
6. That escalated quickly
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 5:41 AM
Now, if they manipulate this show so that it serves as Batfleck's origin story, that would interest me.
codydriscollsrightarm - 6/17/2014, 5:45 AM
I knew from day one this was gonna be awesome.

Critically acclaimed thus far.

\o/\o/
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 5:46 AM
@codydriscollsrightarm
I hope you're right.
Dmon - 6/17/2014, 5:53 AM
I don't get how you can say you are a Batman comic fan and not be interested in this show. I have been reading Batman comics for 30 years and I am an expert on all things Batman. When you have been reading the Batman family comics that long you can't come away from that not caring about the character of Jim Gordon. Have you guys never read the GCPD comics? Also Gordon was the best part of Year One. Another plus I am a huge fan of police procedural shows and especially The Mentalist and the creator of that Bruno Heller is doing this show, that is huge.
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 5:55 AM
See, with the Flash trailer I was excited. "Professor Zoom!" "S.T.A.R. Labs!" "Weather Wizard!" but with Gotham's trailer I was disappointed. it looked like every other show on television.
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 5:57 AM
@Dmon
I care about Gordon. He's been there since day 1 (and by that of course I mean Detecite Comics #27). But as I said, he's not drop kicking thugs in alleyways.
Nomis - 6/17/2014, 5:58 AM
Great Casting of Logue as Bullock!
0megaDaGod - 6/17/2014, 5:58 AM
Would've loved to have him play Bullock in a movie
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 6:00 AM
I mean, Gordon's even more important than Robin in the Batman universe. And in some ways a better character than either Batman or Robin. But in the end, most of his character comes from playing off Batman, and his conversation with Bruce was something I was happy to see in the trailer.
BatManiac - 6/17/2014, 6:02 AM
"I don't get how you can say you are a Batman comic fan and not be interested in this show."

It's not different than an X-Men fan not being interested in the movies, or a Superman fan not being interested in Man of Steel, or a Spider-Man fan not being interested in TASM. Just because you're a fan of something, it doesn't mean you're going to like all interpretations.
Azbat - 6/17/2014, 6:03 AM
Nomis - 6/17/2014, 6:05 AM
I'm so stoked for this, but i love prequels.
Pasto - 6/17/2014, 6:07 AM
Wait, did BatManiac just say what I thought he said???
BatManiac - 6/17/2014, 6:08 AM
... plus this show is already drastically deviating itself from the comics. In what comic did James Gordon mentor Bruce Wayne? In what comic was Selina Kyle Catgirl? In what comic was Fish Mooney running Gotham? In what comic was Riddler a mortician?

There are PLENTY of reasons why a fan of the comics would be put off by this show.
sicknimon - 6/17/2014, 6:11 AM
@BatManiac, agreed but as a comic fan I don't mind when different variations of an old story come out. Just as long as it doesn't mess with the main continuity of the real story. In this case, I'm going to agree I'm not very excited. I am excited for Constantine, and for what I've seen it doesn't exactly match up with Hellblazer.

p.s. SANDMAN X-Mas 2016!!!! WATCH OUT!!! (posting on every dc thread)
Dev7 - 6/17/2014, 6:15 AM
@BatManiac have you seen Gotham yet to know whether you'll be interested in this show or not?
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