A journalist is coming to “Gotham” and chances are you’re going to recognize her name. It was first reported by TVLine that “Once Upon a Time’s” Jamie Chung had been cast as Valerie Vale in Season 3 of the FOX series, but with a new day comes one very important detail.

While the name Vale has a long history in the DC Comics universe — and the Tim Burton “Batman” film franchise — there was no clear indication as to how Valerie was connected to Vicki Vale. However, a press release from FOX clears that all up.

“Valerie Vale is the Gotham Gazette’s newest hire. She is a crackerjack reporter dead-set on uncovering the truth behind Indian Hill. Confident and dogged, Vale will do anything to get the scoop, and she soon sets her sights on Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), whom she believes is the key lead in her story. Valerie is Vicki Vale’s aunt.”

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There it is, Valerie is the aunt of Vicki — who becomes a romantic interest for Bruce Wayne down the line. Introducing a member of the Vale family is simply the latest in a string of attachments “Gotham” has to the Burton Franchise — 1989’s “Batman” and 1992’s “Batman Returns — which featured Kim Basinger as Vicki.

While the show is making up its own continuity and doing some very interesting things with the Batman mythology, its roots are deeply embedded in Burton’s movies. Follow along as Zap2it points out a few of “Gotham’s” biggest connections to Batman’s big screen past.

Selina Kyle

We know what you’re thinking, Selina Kyle isn’t exclusive to Tim Burton’s “Batman” movies. Catwoman has long been part of just about every iteration of Gotham City, on screen, in print and beyond. However, when it was first announced that young actress Camren Bicondova would be playing the young Selina, it was hard to not see a similarity between her and Michelle Pfeiffer, who played the role in “Batman Returns.”

Camren Bicondova on 'Gotham'

Bicondova has made Selina her own in Season 2 of “Gotham,” but it’s almost impossible to unsee a young Pfeiffer in her.

Michelle Pfeiffer in 'Batman Returns'

Penguin’s dad

This was perhaps the most on-the-nose nod to Tim Burton’s movies yet, but also one of the very best. When it came time to cast Oswald Cobblepot’s (Robin Lord Taylor) father, producers looked to “Batman Returns.” They simply cast the man who played the role on that film, Paul Reubens.

It was such an interesting reunion and gave Reubens more of a chance to bring life to Cobblepot’s father in a way that would never have been possible on film. At least until he met his untimely and very sad end.

The music

When you think of Burton’s “Batman,” chances are one of the immediate things that comes to mind is the hauntingly beautiful Danny Elfman score that accompanied the film and became as iconic as anything else Batman-related. However, did you notice “Gotham” including bits of that same score in Season 2?

Take a look at the clip below from the Season 2 premiere. When Bruce (David Mazouz) uncovers what will likely eventually become his Batcave, a small snippet of Elfman’s work is heard that sets a perfect Batman tone for the entire scene. Even when it’s not an obvious nod to the films, the creative team behind “Gotham” is always paying tribute to what’s come before in the greatest ways.

The overall tone and look

A quick look at any episode of “Gotham” will tell you this isn’t a movie patterning itself after the Christopher Nolan films, the Adam West TV series, or even “Batman: The Animated Series.” This quirky gothic world is entirely Burtonesque. You can easily imagine his “Batman” stories existing in this version of “Gotham.”

It’s hard to say the same for “The Dark Knight” or “Batman Begins.” The future Batman of “Gotham” may be a moody tween sometimes, but he’s certainly not the brooding Bruce Christian Male introduced the world to.


Posted by:Chris E. Hayner

Chris E. Hayner is equal parts nerd, crazy person and coffee. He watches too much TV, knows more about pro wrestling than you do and remembers every single show from the TGIF lineup. You may have seen him as a pro-shark protester in "Sharknado 3." His eventual memoir will be called "You're Wrong, Here's Why..." TV words to live by: "I'm a firm believer that sometimes it's right to do the wrong thing."