Fox’s Batman Plan Raises Big Questions for Fans and Investors

On the heels of breaking new ground with Jada Pinkett-Smith, the studio casts Drew Powell in another role fans will find unfamiliar. A Fool examines the risks.

Mar 9, 2014 at 5:03AM

Maybe Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) isn't all that interested in the Batman universe comics and film fans have come to love, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Deadline reports that actor Drew Powell has been cast to play the gangster Butch Gilzean in Gotham, Fox's TV adaptation that centers on Jim Gordon in the years before he becomes commissioner and Bruce Wayne before he becomes Batman.

In January, Fox Entertainment Chief Kevin Reilly said the studio had purchased full rights to the Batman mythos for Gotham. And yet, so far, his team seems intent on creating their own characters. Neither Powell's Gilzean nor the mobster he reports to, Jada Pinkett-Smith's Fish Mooney, exist in the Batman universe established by Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) DC Comics. Rather, signs are that Gotham will be a universe unto its own, distinct not only from the comics but also Warner's 2016 film, Batman vs. Superman.

Whether fans will appreciate the variety or rebel at the lack of continuity is unknowable at this point, Tim says. Yet it may be worth noting that Marvel avoids this sort of mess via a collaborative team composed of executives from its comics, TV, and film divisions. They're tasked with ensuring no single storyline in one medium can spoil plans in another. Fox and Warner are under no such obligation to keep each other informed. Fans and investors may end up wishing that weren't the case.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. What do you expect from Gotham? Is Fox wise to build its own universe, or is the risk of alienating fans too great? Please watch the video to get his full take and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand.

Your pop culture knowledge is power. Use it for good.
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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Time Warner at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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