John Stephens Interview: ‘Gotham’ Season 3, Court of Owls, and the Mad Hatter

Gotham Season 3 Mad City

Fox’s Gotham season three will find Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) in a bad state mentally and emotionally which is bad news for the folks of Gotham City. The third season will also find the Court of Owls as major players throughout the entire season. The Mad Hatter will wreak havoc, Poison Ivy has matured, and the good guys left in Gotham City to take care of the innocent civilian population will be hard-pressed to fight off the season’s many new villains in the much-anticipated season three of the comic book-inspired series.

During roundtable interviews at Comic Con, executive producer John Stephens dropped some interesting hints about the upcoming season which is set to premiere on September 19, 2016.

John Stephens Interview:

What can you tease us with about this upcoming season?

John Stephens: “We’re going to see a new Poison Ivy come out this year. We see the Mad Hatter; he’s going to be coming this year and causing a great deal of havoc this year. We’re going to delve into the world of the Court of Owls, and that’s going to be a long arc that we’re going to play throughout the course of the year. Some of which will be drawn from the canon, some of which is stuff we’re going to be adding to it as well. And, we’re going to put a face on the Court of Owls in a way that I think has not been done before in the canon so that we’ll actually see people inside there who have meaning and influence. What else can I tell you? Certain characters who matter are going to come back to the show as well. That’s vague…sorry! Cool things will happen!”

What is your take this season on both the Mad Hatter and Poison Ivy?

John Stephens: “Our take on Ivy (Maggie Geha) is definitely going to be different from the Ivy of the comic books because our Ivy is mentally and emotionally still a 14-15 year old girl but she’s suddenly in the body of a 25 year old woman. So she is not quite the femme fatale that she will later on become in the comics. She spends a lot of time trying to find her way through that. She also doesn’t have the fantastic powers that she does in the comic books. She’s someone who develops – and we watch her develop – her interest in plants and what they can actually do. And also, it will be a story of somebody who’s actually discovering the power that they now have as the grow up and say, ‘Oh, wait, now I actually have this ability to pull in men,’ and learning how to use that/abuse that.

In terms of Jervis (Benedict Samuel), there are so many different versions of him in the comic books, you know, the version that we’re playing of him is one of the more realistic versions I would say. We lean as well into the version of someone who has a deep, deep, perhaps too deep, love for his sister named Alice (Naian González Norvind). His story with Alice will actually damage him in a way that he’ll end up blaming Jim (Ben McKenzie) for. As well he’s someone who really is focused on…it’s not just straight mind-control. It’s really about cracking open the dark heart of everybody.”

Is Clayface the young Bruce Wayne?

John Stephens: “The young Bruce Wayne is not Clayface but we definitely will see Clayface. No, young Bruce Wayne is something different.”

And what about the return of Jerome?

John Stephens: (Laughing) “For Jerome I would just say in Gotham you can’t keep a bad man down.”

In The Flash they’ve introduced multiple universes. In your mind does The Flash exist?

John Stephens: “In our world? I’m sure he exists. I don’t think we’re ever going to see him. I’m sure he’s out there, yeah.”

What can you say about the state of mind of Jim Gordon in season three?

John Stephens: “What he wants this year…he’s someone who’s riddled with guilt and regret. All of these things that he’s done over the past two years, all the bad things that have happened, he’s basically attributed to certain decisions that he’s made. So, he’s someone who’s basically retreated at the top of this year and saying, ‘Everything I touch seems to turn bad, so I’m going to stop doing this right now.’ But he finds himself inevitably pulled back into the mix of things.”

Watch the full John Stephens interview: