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What's with the name?

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Holy Rusted Metal Batman!

Gotham Just Cast Their Penguin, Alfred, And Two DC Ladies


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?

(via: Variety)

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  • Jim

    This all sounds terrible.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    Yeah, as much as I’m gratified to hear some of the projects these people worked on “Another Earth”, “Luther”, I fear this is being hastily, carelessly done and with an eye toward money instead of story.

  • http://svalb.org/ Tomb Svalborg

    Basically yet another attempt of a superhero show with no superhero or villains. “We know you like Penguin. So now watch Penguin before he did anything remotely villainy”

  • Chris Macpherson

    I’m definetly going to give this show a chance, but there really isn’t much about it that sounds like it will be anything but a disaster.

  • Jim

    Right? Sometimes the right people can come together and still shit all over everything.

  • Barbarella Galaxina

    I will be watching the show . A can not wait to see the 1st Promos for the show

  • Amanda Brand

    Well, it sounds better than Batman vs. Superman so far (at least to me)

  • http://readingwatchinglookingandstuff.blogspot.com/ Janna

    Not sure about that description for Oswald Cobblepot, but I guess this version will be having him work his way up the underworld ranks. And Penguin probably makes the most sense to introduce at this point, since he’s usually portrayed as older than his other super-villain colleagues.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t throw things at me, but this sounds better than SHIELD. I really like cop shows and the less it sounds like Batman, the better so expectations won’t go through the roof. The writers have backgrounds in procedural work and I think that is a good thing as they know how to create consistency. And Pertwee’s version of Lestrade was unique and hilarious.

  • http://readingwatchinglookingandstuff.blogspot.com/ Janna

    Yeah, this might be good at laying out why Gotham became such a criminal hotspot/disaster zone that someone like Batman became possible.

  • J Ritchey

    I can picture a world where DC/Warner has a plan with all of this. A world where the movies begun with Man of Steel form a cohesive core of major events, fleshed out by Arrow and its spin-offs as a prelude (say starting at MoS -5 years) and eventual interweaving of day to day life, with Gotham and perhaps other shows as deeper history (maybe MoS -15-20 yrs), hinting and teasing what is to come without falling into “the prequel trap” of overwhelming itself with familiar but continuity-anachronistic elements.

    I do not, however, have any confidence in this being that world.

  • Adrian

    I can’t even picture that just because of WB/DC’s reputation with all these properties. People like to point to the success of Nolan’s Dark Knight films to which I give all the credit, for better or worse, to Nolan, not WB/DC. He has shown what a talented director he is and how great most of his films are on a technical level but a lot of people seem to put on blinders when it comes to his Batman films, which do have their fair share of issues.

    I actually hope that the TV projects stay separate from the films since the TV project(s)—Arrow—is/are killing it in terms of world building. With Man of Steel and those in charge of that still in charge, I have no hope for the films whatsoever. Of course, that’s if WB/DC actually wants to rival Marvel at all. Warners isn’t solely in the comic book movie business the way that Marvel Studios is, so expectations and plans can differ.

  • Adrian

    I don’t get a “disaster” vibe so much as a get an “unnecessary” vibe.

  • Forrest Rogers

    I’m always up to check out a superhero based TV series however I would prefer someone less known or just hasn’t had a series yet. Batwoman would be something new and batman related. I also think Animal Man would work for TV

  • http://runt.org/ Adrian

    I think it’s great that WB is willing to take multiple, ongoing, even concurrent takes on Batman, just like DC does with their comics series. Batman’s world is awesome! It’s a shame neither WB or DC is willing to do the same with DO I EVEN NEED TO NAME HER AGAIN?? Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman.

  • Anonymous

    MAking it clear right off the bat they’re using actual comic characters in the show is a smart move and will probably buy some more goodwill than SHIELD. Comic fans are notoriously averse to changes (even though they happen with literally every adaptation ever) so original characters already have an uphill battle.

    Sometimes you get a hit like Harley Quinn or X-23 or Aqualad. Other times you get Spyke.

  • Anonymous

    How can you fail to point out that Sean Pertwee is the spitting image of his dad! Jon Pertwee! The Third Doctor!

  • Cooper

    Sean Pertwee is a fantastic choice for Alfred. Having a Dog Soldiers moment…

  • Anonymous

    Sean Pertwee’s a great pick. Robin Taylor already has the right nose for the role. On the other hand, Fish Mooney is an awful name for a gangster. “Money doesn’t put fish on the table! FISH PUTS FISH ON THE TABLE!!!”

  • Adrian

    If you look back at real-life nicknames for gangsters and then add the fact that these are comic book characters, it actually fits pretty well.

  • Amanda LaPergola

    Most things are better than SHIELD.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is it sounds like they picked the name just because he has a connection to the Penguin & penguins it fish. It’s too on the nose.

  • Brett W

    As long as it doesn’t develop Smallville Syndrome…

  • Anonymous

    I will retract my criticism of Fish Mooney’s name if it’s a elaborate set up for Mr. Cobblepot to shove tons of fish down his throat & weld his mouth shut with a blowtorch umbrella like that scene in Secret Origins.

  • Anonymous

    3 downvotes?? For speaking the truth? Okay.

  • Amanda LaPergola

    ‘K, let me try again…

    ABORTIONS FOR SOME, TINY AMERICAN FLAGS FOR OTHERS!

    *waves to the crowd, high fives a million angels*

  • Anonymous

    Why won’t you let me have both an abortion AND a tiny American flag?

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, how long before Brce becomes Batman is this going to take place? Is it set in the period immediately following his parents’ murders? If so, they should be looking for 10 year olds to play Catwoman, Joker, & Riddler.

  • Anonymous

    Erin Richards was great in her Misfits episode.

  • Mandy

    Yeah, I mean I know pretty much everyone enjoys Batman but was there really a group of people out there calling for a new take on the character? We’re already getting yet another reboot movie verse with the character. How many times can we go over an origin story before people get tired of it?

    Is DC just this desperate for money that they throw Batman out as a supposed sure thing? Like come on guys. You have soooo many other characters to dip into! Take a chance and move away from the Big Two for a few years.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t imagine Gordon without a mustache after Gary Oldman.

  • Anonymous

    Erin Richards was great in her Misfits episode.

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  • Brian

    Also, he’s skinny. And I’ll bet anything they’re going with the actors real nose, which admittedly is large, rather than makeup.

  • http://www.justplainsomething.com JustPlainSomething

    Hell, I can’t imagine Gordon without a mustache, period. But I also grew up on BTAS, which gives me a bias. But yeah, I want him to have the mustache, damnit.

  • http://www.justplainsomething.com JustPlainSomething

    Anyone else wish they’d just do a Gotham PD show instead with Montoya and Bullock and maybe a few new people and we only see hints of the Batfam on the show? And yes I know there was a comic like this already but case in point, there are cool stories to be told without making it all about Bruce. (The show they’re making could very well be good, I just wish we were getting something different.)

  • Anonymous

    True enough. That’s probably why Gary Oldman’s ‘stache worked so well for me, as I loved the DCAU as well. Though I didn’t immediately think of it… sadly I didn’t catch that during my youth, only as a young adult :/

  • http://www.justplainsomething.com JustPlainSomething

    BTAS came out when I was 7, so except for the Burton movies (which I got to watch parts of but were considered by my parents to be too scary), this was pretty much my first exposure to DC comic characters. I’m still really grateful for how good the DCAU was because it really did make me a lifelong fan of these characters, even when the comics don’t do them justice.

  • Axe Armor

    I have this mad hope that one day there will be a Batman series where the Penguin and the Riddler are just Mitchell and Webb, and they just hang out at the Iceberg Lounge in the off hours being sarcastic at each other while guys like Hugo Strange and Two Face are off being important and threatening somewhere else. The Riddler excitedly pitches puzzle heist schemes while the Penguin grouses (hee) about a perceived decline in the class of something or other these days.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Huh. Kinda hope they stay away from Riddler. I mean, he’s my favorite Batman villain, but he just doesn’t work without Batman–his whole motivation is proving that HE’S the smartest, and pitting that against the “average police force” never seemed like much of a challenge for his ego.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Huh. Kinda hope they stay away from Riddler. I mean, he’s my favorite Batman villain, but he just doesn’t work without Batman–his whole motivation is proving that HE’S the smartest, and pitting that against the “average police force” never seemed like much of a challenge for his ego.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Okay, NOW I want to see a 10-year-old Riddler.

    Maybe little Eddie and Bruce can be on the quiz bowl teams for their respective school and compete or something. And at night, babby-Riddler sneaks out and does tiny-crime.

  • Anonymous

    There’s a great scene in the Year One Annual origin for Riddler where he sends the GCPD a big elaborate box of riddles & they go “WTF are we supposed to do with all of this?” Meanwhile the Riddler is committing his first robbery & disappintedly wondering why the cops didn’t even try to stop him.

  • Ben English

    Now I’m imagining this show going into fanservice modes in it’s later seasons like Smallville did and having all sorts of batcharacters show up. Teenage Montoya discovers she’s gay, Gabbi Kane is murdered and Beth kidnapped as the crime of the week one episode. Bruce meets a boy named Jean who goes to St. Dumas Catholic Academy, or happens to be at the hospital when Mary Grayson is giving birth to Dick. The potential for cringe-inducing coincidences and silly winks and nods is unlimited.

  • Ben English

    Now I’m imagining this show going into fanservice modes in it’s later seasons like Smallville did and having all sorts of batcharacters show up. Teenage Montoya discovers she’s gay, Gabbi Kane is murdered and Beth kidnapped as the crime of the week one episode. Bruce meets a boy named Jean who goes to St. Dumas Catholic Academy, or happens to be at the hospital when Mary Grayson is giving birth to Dick. The potential for cringe-inducing coincidences and silly winks and nods is unlimited.

  • Ben English

    Spyke?

  • Ben English

    I’ll take your word for it… otherwise I’d have to watch Misfits.

  • Anonymous

    He was a character they created for the X-Men Evolution show (they wanted a black guy on the team and for some baffling reason didn’t want to use an existing X-Man like Bishop) .

    He’s famous for being pretty much universally loathed by everyone who watched the show.

  • Beccameriel

    I KNOW! Has no one else seen Dog Soldiers? Best werewolf film ever.