The mystery of the Bruce Wayne clone was a puzzling subplot within the third season of Gotham. We knew Thomas Wayne was conducting experiments in Indian Hill, but why had he grown a copy of his own son? The clone disappeared before the end of the season without these questions being answered.
On July 22, 2017, I had a chance to speak to Gotham showrunner John Stephens about this. He finally set the record straight. “We actually never said that Thomas was the one creating him. We’re actually saying that it was a project between Hugo Strange and the Court of Owls to create him. It was swaperoo,” Stephens told me. I was shocked and said that they play the long game to which Stephens echoed, “They play the long game yea.”
Another reporter asked if Gotham had stayed on course to which Stephens replied, “That implies we have a plan. Yes and no. To a degree we knew we wanted to bring in Ra’s al Ghul at a certain point. We knew we wanted Bruce Wayne to have his teenage wild years. And we knew we wanted to have a traumatic event that would send him during that journey. So I would say in our big picture scheme like the story movements we’re doing are very much on track, but the actual events, a lot of those are surprising us.”
Stephens also emphasized the “family” theme of the season. “One of the families is going to be a brand new very different Lee Tompkins together with Ed Nygma and Solomon Grundy who is Butch Gizlean obviously. Because when Butch becomes Solomon Grundy he doesn’t remember his former life. So when he runs into Ed Nygma he doesn’t remember that he wants to rip his head off. And Ed, who has suffered the effects of being frozen for three months needs Grundy’s help to get strong again and the three of them form this kind of weird little family,” Stephens said.
Gotham moves to Thursdays this fall and premieres on September 21.