Tuesday, February 11, 2014

GOTHAM Casts The Penguin, Alfred & Sarah Essen

Gotham City is getting more populated by the day.

Less than a week after Ben McKenzie was announced as Jim Gordon, Fox's upcoming series Gotham has cast four key roles for its world set in the years before Batman.  The Hollywood Reporter has revealed details on the following characters:

The Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) -- Debuting in 1941's Detective Comics (vol.1) #48, The Penguin will be Gotham's first villain and is described in the article as "having the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a jackal, who is a low-level psychopath for gangster Fish Mooney who hides his sadistic lust for power behind an exquisitely polite demeanor."  Taylor will be the third actor to portray the character in live action, after Burgess Meredith's memorable take in the '60s Batman TV series and Danny DeVito in the 1992 Tim Burton film Batman Returns.

Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee) -- Bruce Wayne's faithful butler and mentor Alfred first appeared in 1943's Batman (vol.1) #16 and is described as "a tough-as-nails ex-Marine from East London, who has loyally served the Wayne family.  Now, in the wake of their tragic deaths, he is fiercely protective of the young Bruce Wayne."  Pertwee is the son of the late Doctor Who star Jon Pertwee and recently appeared as Gareth Lestrade on the CBS Sherlock Holmes series Elementary.

Captain Sarah Essen (Zabryna Guevara) -- Created by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli in the classic story "Batman: Year One," Sarah Essen first appeared in 1987's Batman (vol.1) #405 as Gordon's fellow GCPD detective and mistress, who later married him but ended up being murdered by The Joker.  Essen is described as "rookie Gordon's boss at the Gotham City Police Department Homicide Squad, who balances the two worlds of police and politics with a Machiavellian skill that is as much corporate litigator as cop."  Katee Sackhoff previously voiced the character in the animated Batman: Year One adaptation.

Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) -- JIm Gordon's wife was also featured in "Batman: Year One" and divorced him at some point, moving to Chicago with their son, James Gordon Jr.  In Gotham, Barbara is "a sophisticated ER doctor, who is engaged to marry Gordon.  She's joyful but with an edge of vulnerability who stands by her future husband…which can be difficult in a world as corrupt as Gotham."  The character first appeared in live action in the 2008 film The Dark Knight, played by Melinda McGraw, and was voiced by Grey DeLisle in Batman: Year One.

The Warner Bros. Television drama pilot, which has already been committed to a series, is being written and executive produced by The Mentalist showrunner Bruno Heller. Danny Cannon (CSI, Nikita) will direct and executive produce the pilot.  Gotham is expected to air on Fox sometime this fall.

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