The Batman mythos is a weird thing if you think about it for more than two seconds. The core conceit–that a fabulously wealthy orphan was moved by the death of his parents to dress in a perverse rubber suit and spend his inheritance on sharp pieces of metal to throw at mentally ill people–is so bizarre that it almost makes more sense as the sort of ’60s high-camp it was under Adam West than as the grim, gritty, hyper-realistic, and financially gangbusters series it became under the guidance of Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale. But that is not what we want out of our Batmen, and it’s not what we want out of our pre-Batman interpretations of Gotham City.
Fox’s forthcoming Gotham is a police procedural set in the early years of fictional Detective James Gordon’s tenure in the city, in which he attempts to keep at bay the forces that will be in full-blown effect when Bruce Wayne finally puts on his pervert suit and begins throwing things at the mentally ill. The trailer for the show has highlighted some of the elements of the Batman mythos that the series will draw from: including colorful characters like Poison Ivy, The Riddler, Penguin, etc., etc.
Still, even though the show will probably be weird, there’s almost no way that it’ll be as weird as the fan-made trailer that Fox commissioned and assembled for the series, and which the network will be airing on Thursday during a rerun of Sleepy Hollow. That trailer, which runs a minute long, is spliced together from submissions by countless bat-fans, who used animation, drawings, re-enactments with little kids, repurposed footage of former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, pictures of fruit for some reason, and a shot of a guy giving an impassioned speech about hope to a stuffed monkey to convey the power of Gotham City–and of Gotham. Great work, everybody. Batman would throw sharp pieces of metal at all of you.