GOTHAM Finds Its Jim Gordon in Ben McKenzie
By Merrill Barr on February 8, 2014
Things are starting to heat up for Fox’s upcoming Batman-adjacent series, Gotham. Taking place in the early days of Jim Gordon’s career, the series mainly focuses on the criminals of Gotham before Bruce Wayne dons his famous cape. With a direct-to-series order from the network and production set to begin shortly, casting is now under way and the big question for much of the viewing public has been who would play the young Jim Gordon. Today, we got our answer.
Warner Bros. Television has announced that Southland and The O.C. star Ben McKenzie will play Gordon in the upcoming series. The role will actually be McKenzie’s second outing with the DCU, since he also served as the voice of Bruce Wayne in the animated film Batman: Year One (another DC entity that puts a fair amount of focus on the origins of Jim Gordon).
Considering the goal of the series is to show how a young Gordon becomes the kind of man we meet in Nolan’s films (although this series has no connection to the Nolanverse), it would make sense to cast an actor who can slowly break down his image to become the bad-ass police officer we eventually come to know and love. It should also be noted McKenzie’s spent the better part of the last few years working on Southland, a critically-acclaimed series that won him quite a bit of attention.
Much of the upcoming series is a risk. Reports that the first episode (written by Bruno Heller and directed by Danny Cannon) will feature a young Bruce, as well as planned appearances in future episodes by Catwoman and The Joker, indicate that things could go either way. With any luck, a series based on the Batman rogues gallery will become an intense, dark drama that does its source material proud.
We’re still months away from any kind of premiere, so for now, all we can do is sit back and let the chips fall where they may. But the casting of McKenzie, along with the rumored offering of the role of Gordon’s mentor Det. Harvey Bullock to Donal Logue, are signs of pretty good things to come.