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Friday, October 30, 2015

GOTHAM Casts B.D. Wong as Professor Hugo Strange





Let's just hope dinosaurs aren't involved.

USA Today reports that the Fox series Gotham has cast B.D. Wong as Batman villain Professor Hugo Strange.

According to the article, Strange is described as "a brilliant professor and psychiatrist tapped to head up Gotham City’s notorious Arkham Asylum.  He’s hired to help the city’s criminally insane, but Strange has a nefarious streak as well: The professor is also conducting experiments on inmates and testing extraordinary abilities in order to create superhuman folks for Indian Hill.  The underground Wayne Enterprises black-ops program was introduced in this week's episode of Gotham as the secretive place where a badly burned Firefly (Michelle Veintimilla) was taken after being captured by the GCPD."

Wong, 55, is probably best known as Dr. Henry Wu in Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, and has appeared the films Mulan, Seven Years in Tibet, Father of the Bride, and The Karate Kid Part II.  He's also had several notable television appearances, including Mr. Robot (as White Rose), Madam Secretary, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Chicago Hope, The X-Files, All-American Girl, and Simon & Simon.


Created in 1940 by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Professor Hugo Strange first appeared in Detective Comics (vol.1) #36 as a scientist who uses a stolen "concentrated lightning" machine to generate a dense fog every night, allowing his gang to rob banks unseen, though he knows Batman poses a threat to him.  Batman, who already knew of Strange's experiments, began investigating him after one of his henchmen killed a man.

Having survived his earlier "death" at the hands of Batman, Strange later ran a private hospital for Gotham's wealthiest citizens — where he held them to ransom and changed them into monsters. When Bruce Wayne checked into the hospital to recover discreetly from radiation burns he sustained while fighting Doctor Phosphorus, Strange found out that Wayne was Batman and proceeded to wreak havoc on his personal life. Strange then attempted to auction the identity of Batman to Boss Rupert Thorne, the Penguin, and the Joker.  Thorne had Strange kidnapped and beaten to reveal Batman's identity, but Strange apparently died before he could tell them.  Strange's "ghost" came back to haunt Thorne, driving the council boss insane.  Thorne confessed his long career of corruption and was sent to prison.

As revealed in 1983's Batman #356, Strange actually survived the beating from Thorne's men, by using yoga to slow his heartbeat to an undetectable level.  Strange created the "ghost" that haunted Thorne which drove him to confess to the authorities.  Subsequently Strange attempted to weaken Bruce Wayne through the use of drugs and robots, with the ultimate goal of usurping the mantle of Batman.  The plan failed, and Strange apparently died once more when he blew up a replica of Wayne Manor.

This will be the first time Hugo Strange has appeared in live action, although the character has appeared in several animated projects, including Batman: The Animated Series (voiced by Ray Buktenica), The Batman (voiced by Frank Gorshin and Richard Green), Young Justice (voiced by Adrian Pasdar), and the short film Batman: Strange Days (voiced by Brian George).

Gotham airs on Fox Monday nights at 8 p.m. EST.

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