Voices From Krypton has the treatment for a wholly different Gotham show, which was about to be pitched to Warner Bros., but the current Gotham was greenlit before they could do so. The failed project wasn't the prequeliest of prequels, like the show we have now, but instead took place concurrently with Batman roaming the streets. And that's not all that was different.
You can read the whole thing at Voices From Krypton, where writer Henry Locke IV has posted the treatment for the pilot and descriptions through season three of what the show would have looked like, but the other major difference was that the main character was a wholly original one. The whole pitch revolves around telling the story of Gotham's non-famous citizens and how the dangers of the city impacts their lives.
The main character was 21-year-old, failing out of college, Olivia Sage, the daughter of a GCPD cop who is partners with Renee Montoya. The pilot treatment opens on the murder of Olivia's sister, Amber. Olivia's investigation into Amber's death would have driven the first season, with Amber having been a friend to Carmine Falcone's son, Dominic, and a confidant of the Riddler. Amber was so close to this show's version of Edward Nygma, he would have joined forces with Olivia in a pact to bring "justice" to Black Mask and the Falcones.
Among the other mysteries in the pilot is the spread of a drug called "Joker's Wild," derived from the Joker Venom. It appears in the teaser, with Dominic Falcone and his friends taking it, and in later in a club that Olivia visits. Both sisters get dosed when they are kissed by men tripping on it. We also see Harley Quinn in the pilot, denying that either she or the Joker has anything to do with the drug.
There are a slew of original characters taking center stage in this version of Gotham: We've got Olivia and her family; Kristian Rose, an investigative reporter from Metropolis who lives in the shadow of Vicki Vale; and Deacon and Diego Silva, from a family with a "long lineage of breeding warriors for hire by embarking them on "The Pilgrimage," a spiritual and physical journey that ushers them to the Asian continent in pursuit of those who drink from the fountain of youth."
Locke and his partners had a showrunner who had worked on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman on board and were trying to meet with Warner Bros. when Bruno Heller's Gotham was announced. I wonder how successful it would have been, since the hook of Fox's Gotham is its prequel nature, which allows the show to include every character under the sun in some guise or another. There are almost no original characters, save for Fish Mooney, who are major players in that show. In a way, making it the story of famous names makes Gotham a safer bet and more marketable. On the other hand, the other Gotham has the flexibility of not having to work with canon so much and would get to take place during the time most people are familiar with: Jim Gordon is Commisioner Gordon, the Joker has been around for a while, Batman is known and looked up to, etc. Regardless, it's a fascinating take on the material with a heavy does of "what could have been."
[via Cinema Blend]