Gotham set designer and art assistant Jonathan Collins revealed a first look at season 5’s new Batcave. While Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) has explored the caves of Wayne Manor in earlier seasons, this development drops another big clue for what the character’s much-anticipated transformation into Batman, teased in the season 4 finale, will look like.
Season 4 delivered a cataclysmic final episode, with Gotham City attacked in a bombing orchestrated by Jeremiah (seemingly The Joker) and Ra’s al Ghul. The episode title points to the “No Man’s Land” comic book arc, in which Gotham’s inhabitants are isolated without means for escape or government intervention. In the final scenes, a metamorphosing Bruce meets Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) in response to the future bat signal. The moment encapsulates the ethos of the show, by announcing that the battles, which in many incarnations have primarily been fought by this duo, have officially arrived. Shooting for the fifth and final season began in July, but the show is not expected to return until 2019.
The up-and-coming Batcave, shared to Jonathan Collins’ Instagram, appears to be in its preliminary stages. The caption: “When your old cave is too small for your new cave. #setdesign” suggests that audiences can expect significant additions to the cave’s infrastructure.
The figure (likely Bruce), standing outside the jagged cave entrance as well as the winding corridor suggests that Bruce and Alfred will be carving this space out as they go. The compartments labelled throughout the walkway showcase the design team’s vision for creating the classic dark and cavernous Batcave aesthetic, with the different compartments possibly representing how Batman’s endless armada of high-tech combat and surveillance equipment will be organized.
The fact that Bruce is just starting on his quest to defend the city makes it likely that while bigger, the initial Batcave won’t show a lot of renovation. Batman Begins, the first film of the Christopher Nolan trilogy, showed a very minimal bunker with only the vigilante’s necessities at first. Since Gotham and the Nolan Trilogy have heavily focused on The League of Shadows and The Joker as central villains, it’s possible that the look of Gotham‘s final season will be similar to where the Dark Knight Trilogy began. Other incarnations, such as Batman: The Animated Series, as well as the films by Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher, and Zack Snyder, showed a caped crusader who’s further along in his journey, with multiple Batsuits, high-powered vehicles, and super-computers.
On the other hand, Gotham has presented a childhood version of Bruce Wayne who has consistently demonstrated not only exceptional intelligence but also the ability to learn new concepts and implement his own ideas rapidly. Batman has always been tech-savvy, but considering the immense technological evolutions that have taken place since many of the pre-existing films, a more Tony Stark-adjacent Bruce Wayne is possible. Seeing the character work more directly with Lucius Fox to develop Batman’s tech force could be an awesome interpretation for the show’s final season.