By James Hibberd
Updated January 13, 2014 at 08:50 PM EST

Early reports on Fox’s Batman prequel pilot Gotham has made it sound like its mainly about Commissioner Gordon dealing with various challenges in the wild urban jungle.

But Fox chairman Kevin Reilly dispelled that notion at the network’s Television Critics Association press tour panel in Pasadena on Monday. The network’s licensing deal with Warner Bros. includes the rights to ALL the classic Batman characters — The Joker, The Riddler, Catwoman, Penguin and Batman himself. They will all be young versions of the characters and the show will tell how each became the psychologically damaged character we love today.

“This is all of the classic Batman characters,” Reilly said during the panel. “It follows the arc of how they all became what they were. I’ve read the script its really good. It’s going to be this operatic soap that has a slightly larger-than-life quality.”

Batman will be followed from the time he’s a child to “the final episode of the series when he puts on the cape.”

After the panel, Reilly added some more details on the Smallville-ish concept, which will be a serialized drama. “This is the Batman franchise, just backing it up,” Reilly said. “There’s a large tapestry of characters to service over many years. They brought us the entire franchise for a healthy license fee.

Pressed on whether there will be absolutely no familiar costumes on the show, Reilly seemed to suggest there will be some — eventually. “We’re arcing to that,” he said. “We’re not starting in that world where the villains are in costume. You see markers for it that are delicious you see where the evolution and eccentricity where they become those characters. We don’t start off with capes and costumes.”

As for the age of these characters — is this Batman Babies? — Reilly said Bruce Wayne will mainly be played by a young man. “Not to say some season we couldn’t skip ahead and jump,” he added.