Sunday, February 09, 2014

Gotham Has its Gordon

A few months ago I mentioned the Gotham TV series that Warner Bros. had in active development at Fox. Given its connection to the Batman franchise, one of the most famous and lucrative brands of all time, it's understandable that the prequel series, tracking the pre-cape 'n' cowl years of Bruce Wayne's hellish hometown, has been on the fast-track, with the net skipping the usual pilot process and taking the skein straight to series.

One of the biggest question marks until now has been which actor they'd find to play the show's lead, rookie detective James Gordon (eventual police commissioner and confidante to the Dark Knight). Well, if yesterday's casting news is anything to go by, I'd say this project is off to an optimism-inducing start, with actor Benjamin McKenzie enlisted to brandish Gordon's badge. (No word if he'll also sport the character's trademark 'stache. My money's on "no.")

McKenzie, who first came to prominence as bad boy Ryan Atwood on Fox's The OC ten (!!) years ago, has done a nice job of leaving his Teen Beat era behind. He showed his dramatic chops leading the cast of the recently-wrapped Southland, which aired for five seasons on NBC and TNT. Plus, bonus, he's also put in some time on the DC Comics beat, voicing Bruce Wayne/Batman in 2011's Batman: Year One animated feature (which, coincidentally, also tracks Gordon's early years).

I think McKenzie will make an admirable successor to Gary Oldman, the big screen's most recent Gordon, and the the show's premise, tracking the decay of Gotham City and the arrival of some of its biggest baddies, has some real potential to unspool a more grounded, Batman-flavored take on the long-running Superman prequel series Smallville that isn't handcuffed by that show's famous "no flights, no tights" edict. Still no word on when Fox is targeting Gotham to hit the air, but I'd expect to see it sooner rather than later.

(Source: Deadline)

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