Well you can’t say that The CW’s Gotham Knights has lost its Chill. The series, set to premiere in less than two weeks, has cast Hellraiser veteran Doug Bradley in the role of Joe Chill, the mugger who murdered Bruce Wayne’s parents in Crime Alley all those years ago. While many iterations of the Batman mythology have Chill long gone, Gotham Knights instead sees him as a man who has spent fifty years on death row, and who now hopes to change the face of Gotham in his final days.
Bradley, best known for playing the original Pinhead, was back in headlines last year after he expressed approval of Jamie Clayton, the actress who came on board to play the character in the latest (direct-to-streaming) Hellraiser installment. The movie itself drew positive responses, but anytime an iconic character is recast, it’s a dicey proposition, and it likely helped Clayton and the movie that Bradley was supportive.
“When casting the iconic role of Joe Chill, arguably the man who created Batman, there was only one name we considered – Doug Bradley,” series producers Chad Fiveash, James Stoteraux and Natalie Abrams said in a statement. “We needed an actor with the kind of gravitas that would do justice to such a seminal character in DC Comics canon. And who better to embody the role of the classic Gotham fiend than the man whose legendary portrayal of another classic fiend – Pinhead in the Hellraiser franchise — continues to terrify generations of horror fans?” Bradley will appear in Episode 6 of Gotham Knights.
The idea of bringing Chill into the world of Gotham Knights is particularly interesting because, since the whole season centers on the murder of Batman, one assumes that the identity and motives of Bruce Wayne will be a huge part of the series’ overall conversation.
Here’s how The CW describes Gotham Knights‘s Chill: “As one of DC Comics’ most infamous villains, Joe Chill irrevocably changed Gotham when he cruelly gunned down Bruce Wayne’s parents. And after fifty years of rotting on death row, Joe Chill is scheduled to be executed. But Gotham’s notorious ‘Patron Saint of Bad Guys’ is not about to let his secrets die with him.”
You can see the official synopsis for Gotham Knights below:
Batman is dead, and a powder keg has ignited Gotham City without the Dark Knight to protect it. In the wake of Bruce Wayne’s murder, his adopted son Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan, ‘De Son Vivant”) is framed for killing the Caped Crusader, along with the children of some of Batman’s enemies: Duela (Olivia Rose Keegan, “Days of Our Lives”), an unpredictable fighter and skilled thief who was born in Arkham Asylum and abandoned by her father, Harper Row (Fallon Smythe, “grown-ish”), a streetwise and acerbic engineer who can fix anything, and her brother Cullen Row (Tyler DiChiara, “The Virgin of Highland Park”), a clever transgender teen who is tired of being polite and agreeable. With the charismatic and hard-charging District Attorney Harvey Dent (Misha Collins, “Supernatural”) and the GCPD hot on their trail, Turner will rely on allies including his best friend and formidable coder Stephanie Brown (Anna Lore, “All American”), and unlikely Batman sidekick Carrie Kelley (Navia Robinson, “Raven’s Home”). But our Knights will soon learn there is a larger, more nefarious force at work within Gotham City. This team of mismatched fugitives must band together to become its next generation of saviors known as the GOTHAM KNIGHTS.
From Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, Gotham Knights is written by Chad Fiveash, James Stoteraux and Natalie Abrams. Fiveash and Stoteraux will serve as showrunners and executive produce the series alongside Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. Abrams also serves as co-executive producer. Danny Cannon directed and served as an executive producer on the pilot, along with David Madden. Gotham Knights is based on characters created for DC by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.
Gotham Knights debuts on March 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.