Saturday, February 8, 2014

GOTHAM Casts Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon

Gotham City has a protector.

The Hollywood Reporter has details that actor Ben McKenzie has been cast in the upcoming Fox series Gotham as lead character James Gordon, the man who eventually becomes police commissioner and makes Batman his closest ally against crime.

McKenzie, now 35, is perhaps best known as Ben Sherman in the TV series Southland and Ryan Atwood on The O.C.  However, his previous role as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the 2011 animated adaptation of Batman: Year One, which featured a young Jim Gordon encountering Batman for the first time, was probably the standout item on his resume.

Gotham's Gordon is described in the article as "a rookie detective for Gotham City Open Police Department's Homicide Squad.  A college football star and a war hero, Gordon was fast-tracked through the GCPD
 ranks. He's brave, energetic and honest.  Driven to live up to the classical virtues of a father he barely knew, he's an idealistic soul, to the point of naiveté.  That virtue is tempered by analytical intelligence and an ambitious alpha male ego -- he'll back up his naive ideals with action."

McKenzie will be the fourth actor to portray James Gordon in live action, after Neil Hamilton in the '60s television series Batman, Pat Hingle in the Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher films, and Gary Oldman in the most recent Christopher Nolan trilogy.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said Gotham will explore other characters from Batman's world.  "This is not one of the things where you bought a franchise and then none of characters people know," said Reilly.  "We will follow Bruce Wayne right up until the point where he gets interesting."  

Reilly confirmed that Gotham will be an origin for other Batman characters in addition to Gordon.  "It's Gotham teetering on the edge," he said.  "This is all of the classic Batman characters."  The Joker, The Riddler, Catwoman and The Penguin are mentioned in the article as planned, with Bruce Wayne becoming Batman at the end of the series, similar to Clark Kent finally becoming Superman after ten years in the Smallville finale.

Gotham is expected to air on FOX this fall.

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