Though Gotham gives us a look at the life of Bruce Wayne before he became Batman, the show’s second season has been all about the villains. A number of members of Batman’s rogues gallery have appeared in one form or another during the season, either fully in their villainous persona or well on the way to developing it.
The latest addition to Gotham‘s roster is Basil Karlo, played by actor Brian McManamon. For those unfamiliar with the name, Karlo is better known as the shape-shifting villain Clayface.
McManamon’s casting on Gotham and role was confirmed by ComicBook.com, while McManamon himself announced his excitement via a picture posted to his Twitter account that showed him standing with Ben McKenzie. The picture showed off McManamon’s freshly shaved head, and a shirt that some have speculated may be part of a motion capture suit. It hasn’t been confirmed that Karlo will actually have his Clayface powers at this point in the show, so the possibility of McManamon doing motion capture work would certainly be something for fans to get excited about.
McManamon’s casting isn’t the only Gotham news to come out, either. A new clip gives fans their first glimpse of Elijah Van Dahl, father of Oswald Cobblepot (aka the Penguin). Van Dahl is played by Paul Reubens, best known for his portrayal of Pee Wee Herman in movies and on TV. In the clip, the news that Van Dahl is Penguin’s father comes as quite a surprise both to Penguin and Van Dahl himself.
It will be interesting to see Clayface appear on Gotham if he does appear with his powers, though how well it works will depend in part on how his powers are granted. It’s worth noting that in the original incarnation of Basil Karlo, the character didn’t actually have any powers… he was simply dressed up as a villain from a movie to kill members of the movie’s cast. He didn’t gain shape-shifting powers until later, when he injected samples from other versions of Clayface who actually were able to change their form.
Of course, having a shape-shifting Clayface might not sit well with some fans who already feel that too many Batman villains are appearing in the show before Batman even exists. A version of the character closer to the original Karlo, who is committing crimes in-character but won’t gain his powers until later, might appease these fans more. We likely won’t know for sure which version of the character we’ll see until previews start showing up for McManamon’s episode.
Gotham season 2 will continue with “Mad Grey Dawn” next Monday, March 21st at 8pm on FOX.