As we've been told in the trailers for Gotham Season 2, "Villains Will Rise" when the series returns. And when they do, they will be led by new villain Theo Galavan. He is being played by a recognizable face, James Frain, who has portrayed bad guys on True Detective and True Blood, and recently appeared on Orphan Black. And with a somewhat big name, I'm expecting that his character is going to help to fill the void left by Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney. Fish may not always have been a subtle character, but Smith is such a charming performer that her scenes were delightfully over the top. Galavan, with his droll demeanor and ambitious plans to take over Gotham, seems like he could be a worthy substitute.
So far, Theo is billed as an original character. But there's also always a chance that a Gotham "original" character is really just a disguised take on someone from the comics or movies. In an interview with TV Guide, producer Danny Cannon gave away some hints about Theo Galavan. "He comes from a very wealthy family with ancient roots in the building and foundation of Gotham. It takes a while for us to understand why he came back to Gotham and what his plan is, but it's an insidious one, obviously," Cannon explained. All of that adds up — this sure sounds like a guy with a motivation to hire some villains to mess with the city. But then he goes on to drop this look into Galavan's philosophy: "Chaos and destruction is the only way you can build. You can't rebuild a city without first destroying it." TV Guide's Adam Bryant agrees — that's an obvious reference to the worldview of classic Batman villain Ra's al Ghul, an ecoterrorist who believes in culling the human race for the sake of the planet's health.
With all of that in mind, here's everything we know about Theo, and a few predictions for his role in Gotham.
He Has A Major Bone To Pick With Gotham City
Clearly, Theo is not pleased with how Gotham City is being run, and he has an odd solution. He's from an old money family, according to Cannon, and Deadline reported that Galavan has a "centuries-old vendetta" with the place.
He's More Than Just A Rich Guy
It's unclear why such a rich man wants to "take over" the city when he can clearly pay for whatever he wants. If all Theo wanted was money, power, or control, he could easily afford it. Instead, maybe this is a personal vendetta, or a family feud between the Galavans and the Waynes, two rich families, that goes back generations.
Or He Could Be Immortal
The mention of a "centuries-old" feud suggests that maybe Galavan is unstuck in time or has discovered some form of immortality. You know what villain has the power to remain ageless? Ra's al Ghul...
His Sister Is His Closest Ally
Theo's right hand woman is his sister, Tabitha. Based on ComicBookMovie.com's description, the two sound nothing alike — she's a tough fighter, not a smooth-talking aristocrat — but they have a pretty equal relationship.
He's Really Into Barbara
In this clip from the Season 2 premiere, Theo explains his admiration for Barbara's power. He's a mix of admirer and predator, but he shouldn't underestimate Babs.
He's Going To Clash With Penguin & Butch
Frain's Instagram post of Drew Powell, who plays Butch, all geared up for what looks like a drive-by mob shooting. It seems these two teams of villains might not get along right away.
He'll Do His Best To Become The Next Outstanding Villain
I refuse to let Theo Galavan ascend to Fish Mooney's former throne before I see him rock some fearless fashion, but let's just say that so far, Gotham is setting Frain up to steal the whole season.
Images: Nicole Rivelli (3), Mark Seliger/FOX; LetsDrop/Tumblr; Giphy