FOX Casts Penguin, Alfred And Others For BATMAN Prequel GOTHAM


It’s like they said, we’ll be getting a lot of classic characters for the upcoming Batman prequel TV series Gotham. On Saturday, Ben McKenzie was announced to be playing Detective James Gordon, and now four other characters have joined the main cast. Most notable are the additions of Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. the Penguin, and Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s trusted butler and father figure.

Robin Lord Taylor will play Cobblepot, who is described as “having the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a jackal who is a low-level psychopath for gangster Fish Mooney who hides his sadistic lust for power behind an exquisitely polite demeanor.”


Pennyworth will be portrayed by Sean Pertwee, and the series is following the recent trend of having be Alfred be a tough guy. In the show, “the character is a tough-as-nails ex-Marine from East London, who has loyally served the Wayne family. Now, in the wake of their tragic deaths, he is fiercely protective of the young Bruce Wayne.”


Rounding out the casting announcements are actresses Zabryna Guevara and Erin Richards. Guevara will play Captain Sarah Essen, “Gordon’s rookie boss at the Gotham City Police Department Homicide Squad, who balances the two worlds of police and politics with a Machiavellian skill that is as much corporate litigator as cop.”


Richards will play Gordon’s fiancé Barbara Kean, a sophisticated ER doctor who is “joyful but with an edge of vulnerability who stands by her future husband … which can be difficult in a world as corrupt as Gotham.”


The role of young Bruce Wayne has yet to be cast. Last month at the Television Association Critics press tour, Fox president Kevin Reilly stated that the series would focus not just on the origins of Gordon, but Bruce Wayne and other classic Batman characters. Joker, Catwoman and Riddler are expected to join the series, and it will end with Bruce putting on the cape and cowl.

Unfortunately I haven’t seen these actors in anything, so I can’t comment on their talent (although I do know that Pertwee is the son of Jon Pertwee, who played the Third Doctor in Doctor Who). However, from the descriptions of these characters, I’m a little more intrigued by this series. I think it’s a good move on the show’s part to have Penguin as a series regular. Unlike most of the Batman villains, who seem to be around Bruce’s age, Penguin has always looked older than Batman, so I’m glad we’ll get to see him go through a villain’s journey that culminates in his elevated criminal presence by the time Batman shows up.


Like I said earlier, this Alfred is another “tough guy” version of the character, but I have no problem with that. Since Pertwee is younger than the other acts that have played the butler on screen, maybe the character will have more physicality, and by physicality, I mean kicking the ass of anyone who tries to miss with young Master Wayne.


As for the ladies, both are established love interests for Gordon in the comics. Kean eventually marries him and is the mother of Barbara (Batgirl) and James Jr. (a sociopathic killer). Essen and Gordon later have an affair, and after he divorces Kean, they get married, although Essen is later killed by the Joker. Perhaps we’ll see a version of this in the show, with the man who would eventually become Joker killing her as one of his first victims.

I have to admit, so far it’s a well-rounded cast. Now I really want to know which kid is going to shoulder the burden of playing young Bruce Wayne. Hopefully he isn’t too much of a method actor.


SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter