A few days ago, Deadline broke the news that David Zayas was cast as Salvatore (Sal) Maroni on the show GOTHAM. While the show is getting pretty packed with villains, I was pretty happy about this one.
Sal Maroni is a major player in the Batman canon. He’s one of the most ruthless gangsters in Gotham and is a member of the Maroni crime family, which goes in and out of business with the other major crime family in Gotham, the Falcones. Maroni is the one responsible for disfiguring the face of Harvey Dent, essentially creating Two-Face. One of my favourite Batman graphic novels involves Sal Maroni; The Long Halloween deals a lot with the the relationship between the crime families and between Batman and law enforcement.
I’m happy with the casting. David Zayas was decent on Dexter, but he played a softie. However, he was downright ruthless on Oz. I’m completely convinced that he can play a gangster like Sal Maroni.
Most people are familiar with the supervillains of Batman lore: the Joker, the Riddler, Two-Face, Mr Freeze. However, what’s important to remember with a series like Gotham is that the city itself was rift with corruption, long before Batman started facing supervillains. Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered by a mugger in a city that was overrun with crime, and it’s the seediness and corruption of Gotham that motivated Bruce to become Batman and clean up the city.
It will certainly be nice to see some of the supervillain back-stories. However, what will make this show interesting and unique, especially if we’re to see things from James Gordon’s point of view, is if the corruption of the city becomes a major point of the show. There’s no better way to do so than including characters like Sal Maroni and Carmine Falcone as villains.