Fans quickly took to social media to express their dismay and concern that Gotham's version of Bruce Wayne — who is still in his mid-teens — was too young for that kind of storyline. TVGuide.com talked with executive producer Ken Woodruff to discuss exactly what the "playboy" transition would look like...and it's not what you'd think.
"We wanted him to learn how to be a rich kid of Instagram, this sort of ne'er-do-well. We wanted him to learn how to put on that mask of what a lot of people in the public would expect him to be, which is just this rich kid who is privileged," Woodruff explained. "It's going to be Bruce Wayne acting out a little bit and doing what I would do if I had that much money — going to parties, having fun, hanging out with a different element of kids."
The new attitude of Bruce is to help the young millionaire develop the tools and masks he'll need later on to carry on as Batman with no one figuring out his true identity.
"We've had Bruce do a lot of the training with Alfred. We've had him live on the streets with Selina and learn a little of the criminal element. What we really wanted to give him [this season] was that mask, that public mask," Woodruff continues. "The more he does that and the more people he can convince that that's who he really is, the less people will suspect him of being the caped crusader and fighting crime later on down the road."
What could possibly lead the well-meaning Bruce Wayne we've come to know over the past two seasons to give in to such impulses? That would be where his Indian Hill doppelgänger comes into play. Bruce's double will encourage him to start utilizing the privilege he's been given.
"The other Bruce can come into his life and say, 'Wait a second. You have all this money. You have all this privilege and yet you don't seem to be having that much fun with it. You're not enjoying it,'" Woodruff said. "For Bruce, it's a wake up call and it's the first time someone confronts him with that and really gets through to him. In a lot of ways, this Bruce doppelganger inspires that exploration of that playboy persona that Bruce is going to wear so well later on."
While Bruce's new attitude and friends won't necessarily be the misogynist idea that people first thought of when they heard the word "playboy," that doesn't mean that this new direction will be good for the future hero of Gotham City either.
"[The doppelganger] is not an evil version of Bruce. They look identical, but that's the only thing they have in common...They are two completely different people," Mazouz said. "You see [the doppelganger] at the beginning of Season 3 and he's lost more than anything. He's looking for a purpose. He'll find it, but it may not be the best thing of Bruce."
What do you think of Bruce's new direction?
Gotham returns Monday, Sept. 19 on FOX.