Gotham is in the midst of production on the final 10 episodes of the series, and according to some of the cast members, the shooting locations will stick out as one of the most memorable parts of the experience.
Season 5 is set to premier in the spring of 2019 for a 10-episode swan song. Not only will it resolve the current No Man’s Land storyline, showrunner John Stephens promised the series finale itself would jump a decade forward and give audiences a look at Gotham as they know it – filled with full-fledged insanity and a fully-realized Batman.
While fans of one of the most popular heroes in comics will no doubt have some idea what to expect regarding the eventual status of characters like Oswald Cobblepot, Edward Nygma, Harvey Bullock and Jim Gordon, the road to get there promises to be a harrowing one to say the least.
The general depravity of Gotham City played a huge role in stoking the flames of mania within some of her more colorful residents, and it would seem the effects the city can have on people don’t just stop at the fictional characters that make up its inhabitants.
Speaking to CBR at New York Comic Con earlier this year, stars Donal Logue and Robin Lord Taylor shared anecdotes about some of the New York shooting locations that truly evoked what it might feel like to live in as corrupt a town as Gotham.
Unsurprisingly, the mental hospital that served as the backdrop for Arkham Asylum was the site of some eerie and discomfiting experiences for both actors.
"The cast chairs were in the morgue," said Robin Lord Taylor, who plays Oswald Cobblepot on the show. "When all of a sudden, I notice these drawers that are labeled, like, appendages. And I’m like, can I have some sage please? I’m going to be haunted after this. That was definitely one of the most disturbing locations we’ve shot in for sure.
Donal Logue (Harvey Bullock) echoed his cast member's disquieting experience, saying, "We shot in some very difficult places, like the hospital in Staten Island we use for Arkham, which is an active psychiatric hospital.
"I remember one night, it was about three in the morning, it was freezing and we were shooting outside. I looked up to the fifth story and I saw a window and I saw the silhouette of a person watching us. It as just so stunning and heartbreaking. We shot in some heavy duty places. If I tell you the stories they’re all they’re pretty dark."
Logue wasn’t kidding about dark stories. He went on to describe a morning on location in the Bronx, during which the set got paid a visit by a very unexpected guest:
We shot in the Bronx one day and there was a raccoon that was running around the lot by where the trucks were. And the transpo guys were like, be careful because if you see a racoon during the day it’s probably rabid. This raccoon was clearly very sick and made its way to the other side of the fence; we later saw it in the middle of this road twitching. It was in so much agony.
So, we put cones around it because trucks were driving down the road; but at some point, this garbage truck just came barreling through the cones and took out the raccoon. On one hand, the poor animal was put out of its misery, but on the other hand... man, life is tough in Gotham, New York, in the Bronx for all creatures.
There’s certainly humor in these anecdotes, but also the pathos that lurks behind any story told with Gotham as a backdrop. Even when Bruce Wayne wins a battle, the sense that he’s fighting a never-ending war against the general dystopic nature of life in the city never quite goes away.
No matter how many maniacs he clears off the streets, the destruction they leave in their wake is too much for one man to fix, try as he might.