Gotham Tonight - Episode 2
Show transcript follows. View the video here.
- Lydia Filangeri: There are movie stars, there are rock stars, and there are sports stars, but there is only one Bruce Wayne. The mega-millionaire playboy is Gotham's most notable celebrity, whose name is synonymous with extravagance, mischief, and occasional recklessness. Despite his prominent place in the public eye, very little is known about the man who appears to have no causes nor endeavors, other than acting as figurehead to his late father's company, Wayne Enterprises. But it's in this position that Wayne has great influences over the entire city. So much influence, that stock analysts and business experts are worried, that his partying playboy antics could plunge Gotham into another depression. Hi everyone, I'm Lydia Filangeri, and tonight, we explore a wild life that knows no boundaries, hoping to find a man who is ready to start taking some responsibilities.
- [Caption: Billionaire Without A Cause: Bruce Wayne. Produced by Caree Davis]
- Restaurant owner Pasquale Caliolo: So he comes to my restaurant, and he's got six very pretty ladies with him. I says to him, "Mr. Wayne, I know who you are, but I only got tables here, and I'm booked all night. There's no way to seat ya." He puts a piece of paper in my hand, and he tells me, "You make the best risotto in town. It's time for a little expansion, right?" I open the piece of paper — it's the deed to the place next door. Mr. Wayne ate very well that night, lemme tell ya. And now, I got a hundred tables to my name.
- Lydia: This is just one of many similar stories about the billionaire who will stop at nothing to get the best seat in the house, the fastest car on the street, and the hottest gals in town. Bruce Wayne lives life like it's a Monopoly board and he's playing all by himself. But, it hasn't always been fun and games for the eternal playboy. A moment of unexpected tragedy ruptured his storybook life, and set him off on a course that he never thought he would travel.
That event was the tragic and violent loss of his parents as a young boy. Born to Thomas and Martha Wayne, young Bruce was born to a life of wealth and extravagance. It was Judge Solomon Wayne who commissioned architect Cyrus Patney in 1851 to construct Gotham's financial district. In the center of this district, a merchant house was opened under the name of Wayne Corp. Providing merchants with a variety of goods, the family business became a staple in the flourishing city, generating an endless stream of revenue. Despite the vast family fortune, though, his parents continued to work. His father operated the largest free clinic in the city, and used Wayne Enterprises to launch public works projects, like construction of the city's monorail system, while his mother became a community activist leader and part-time teacher in some of the city's most dangerous areas.
- Community Activist Leader Laraine Goldberg: They were Gotham City's patron saints, for sure. The Waynes were not only two of my best friends, but they did so much for charity. And if I could nominate them for sainthood, I would.
- Lydia: Their philanthropy inspired others into action, but just before they could completely help those affected by the ongoing depression, the unspeakable happened. Thomas and Martha Wayne were gunned down outside the Gotham Opera House in front of their 10-year-old son. As the last remaining member of the Wayne family, Bruce became the sole heir of the family's fortune, as well as the head of Wayne Enterprises. Custody of the boy was granted to the family's butler, Alfred Pennyworth, who tried tirelessly to calm his young master as he began to act out in response to his parents' demise.
When his parents' murderer cut a deal to testify against a Gotham city mob boss and was subsequently assassinated by an alleged mob hitman, Bruce Wayne disappeared without a trace for the better part of seven years. Various reports had him yachting around the Pacific, while others cited him living in Brazil, owning and operating a local modeling agency. But without any contact or proof of life from the billionaire, reports of his whereabouts dwindled, culminating in the declaration of his death by his trusted guardian, Alfred Pennyworth.
In his absence, Wayne Enterprises came under the control of William Earle, who initiated the flotation of the company. In the process of going public, though, Gotham got a big surprise, when Bruce Wayne resurrected himself from the dead, just in time to purchase enough stock to become the majority shareholder in the company.
Regaining his authority, Wayne secured himself a position as CEO, while entrusting all the work and responsibility to Lucius Fox, which many consider the smartest move Wayne ever made. Bruce's return to Gotham seemed permanent, as he took up residence in his family's ancestral home, Wayne Manor. However, any thoughts of a newfound maturity quickly subsided, with the news of a drunken episode that resulted in the burning down of the palatial estate during a birthday bash. Homeless and forced to relocate, the playboy has recently landed here, atop this newly built luxury tower, where Wayne has purchased a two-story, 25,000-square-foot penthouse apartment, with 40-foot ceilings, two gigantic balconies, a parking space — for his helicopter — and a 360-degree-view of the entire city below. The price? Who knows? But the monthly maintenance fee alone is reportedly around $31,000. The real perk is the location, though.
Over the course of the last few months, Bruce has made appearances at all of Gotham's ultra-posh eateries, clubs, and lounges, creating a commotion wherever he goes with a gaggle of gorgeous women in tow. In fact, just last month, escorting all 150 Miss Earth contestants, Bruce accidentally crashed a Harvey Dent fundraising event at the city's newest hotel, the Gotham Grand. Wayne and Dent have never met, but both know Rachel Dawes.
An old and loyal friend of Bruce, Rachel has recently become something more to Harvey Dent, as the two have been seen around town together, occasionally holding hands. Whether Bruce approves, no one knows for sure. But Ms. Dawes disapproved of the distraction caused by Wayne's impromptu appearance, asking Bruce to leave the event almost immediately. When asked about the incident and Bruce Wayne, Harvey Dent told reporters:
- Harvey Dent: Well, look — I mean, what happened to Bruce's family, and other people like him, it's just — it's just unconscionable that a kid should have to endure that in Gotham. The family has been so good to this town. I'll do whatever I can to prevent something like that from ever happening again.
- Lydia: Later that night, reporters caught up with Wayne at the popular sushi restaurant RAW.
- CEO, Wayne Enterprises Bruce Wayne: I dunno Harvey Dent. You know? I — I try to stay away from...politicians, you know? You just never know what you're gonna get with those guys, but — if anyone is for abolishing speeding tickets, they got my vote!
- Lydia: Like him or not, Bruce Wayne is our very own Peter Pan, armed with a limitless trust fund and acts as a sword, his adventures do make for great headlines in the tabloids. But unlike the mythic boy who never has to grow up, Wayne has real responsibilities that affect us all.
Responsibilities that include overseeing Wayne Enterprises, which has been Gotham's economic core for over a century. Over the last few months, Wayne Enterprises has acquired and/or developed new technologies emanating from abandoned air and space military programs. Programs that have produced specialized fabrics, electromagnetic gyroscopic navigational systems, hemostatic powders, high-tech plastics, radiation-stamping technology, and rotor blades made from metal composites that have a low radar signature and special acoustic design. Vice President of Operations, Douglas Fredericks.
- Lydia: Is there logic to any of this, or is Bruce Wayne just manufacturing parts for some expensive toys he wants to play with?
- VP Operations, Wayne Enterprises Douglas Fredericks: Lydia, the space program not only put a man on the moon, but it introduced the world to Velcro.
- Lydia: But what we're talking about — stuff like rotor blades here. I mean, where is the practical use in that?
- Fredericks: What some may consider niche, or off-the-wall technology, we view as doors to the future, and our strides through those doors strengthen this company and the community around it.
- Lydia: The jury is still out whether these ventures are helping or hurting the company. In fact, one stock analyst is calling for the board to remove Wayne as CEO before he causes the city to enter into another depression. On the other hand, another analyst is telling investors that Bruce Wayne might be the perfect person to usher Wayne Enterprises into the next generation, by taking risks on technologies that could change the world for the better. But, since it's impossible to tell whether the card that the playboy simply an ace, or just a joker, the future of Wayne Enterprises will remain uncertain.
Thanks so much for watching. Join us in two weeks as we profile another one of Gotham's familiar faces, Lieutenant Jim Gordon, head of the newly formed Major Crimes Unit in the Gotham Police Department. And don't miss next week's show with Mike Engel, who takes us through Gotham City's underworld, in an attempt to expose the bizarre criminal elements that pose a threat to us all. I'm Lydia Filangeri, and this is Gotham Tonight.