Last weekend we heard that Southland‘s Ben McKenzie—or The O.C.‘s Ben McKenzie, your mileage may vary—was chosen to step into the august shoes of Gary Oldman (and some other, non-Gary Oldman people before him) to play James Gordon on Fox’s Smallville-esque Gotham. And now we know who’ll be playing the younger versions of some other famous Batverse characters. Check ‘em out behind the jump.
First up: The Penguin, one of the four villains we’d previously heard Gotham might origin story up (the other three are the Riddler, the Joker, and Catwoman). He’ll be played by Robin Taylor, who’s had supporting roles in movies like Another Earth and Accepted. He also played the one-off character Sam in season four of The Walking Dead—the episode where Carol was banished from the group, to be precise. Variety describes Gotham’s version of Mr. Cobblepot as “a low-level psychopath for gangster Fish Mooney [who] hides his sadistic lust for power behind an exquisitely polite demeanor.”
For Alfred we have, predictably, a more seasoned actor: Sean Pertwee, whom fans of Elementary will recognize as Lestrade. He’s also been in episode of Luther and Skins, in addition to a long list of other things. I’ve never actually seen him in anything, but visually he has something of a young Michael Caine vibe going on. That fits in with the way Variety emphasizes Alfred being a “tough-as-nails ex-marine from East London” who protects mini-Bruce in the wake of his parents’ death.
Also joining the roster of characters: Both of the women who eventually get married to Gordon in the wider Batman canon. That’s assuming the “Captain Essen” to be played by Zabryna Guevara is Sarah Essen, which I’m going to go ahead and say is a pretty good bet. As Gordon’s boss in Gotham, she’s someone who “balances the two worlds of police and politics with a Machiavellian skill that’s as much corporate litigator as cop.” Incidentally, Guevara is a woman of color, which gives Gotham at least some diversity. That’s a good start, Fox. Now keep it going. Rounding out the new additions is “sophisticated emergency doctor” Barbara Kean, Gordon’s fiance, to be played by Erin Richards. She played the spunky detective Nancy in season three of Being Human (UK version).
I know there was some hesitance surrounding this project when it was first announced. That’s always going to be the case. People love them some Batman! But how do you feel about how the ‘verse is shaping up so far? Are you intrigued by the addition of these female characters, maybe? Or will it take something else to shove you in the direction of giving Gotham a shot?