CW will expand its DC small screen universe this fall with The Flash, a spinoff of its hit Arrow TV show. Meanwhile, Fox is moving ahead – and quickly – to get a cast together for Gotham, its own DC series about the experiences of a young Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), who learns to navigate the morally-murkey world of the Gotham City Police Department, while patrolling the dangerous streets of a pre-Batman Gotham City.
Southland and The O.C. alum McKenzie isn’t the only familiar television actor who will appear on Gotham, as Donal Logue (Sons of Anarchy) has also been cast as GCPD detective Harvey Bullock – an old-school and brow-beaten cop who mentors the fresh-faced (and far more idealistic) Gordon at his new workplace.
Today, we can officially add Jada Pinkett Smith (Scream 2, The Matrix trilogy) to the cast roster for the show’s pilot, as written by Bruno Heller (The Mentalist) and to be directed by Danny Cannon (Dark Blue, CSI: NY); the latter pair will also serve as executive producers on the comic book/cop drama-based genre series.
Here is the official description of Smith’s character – named Fish Mooney – in the Gotham pilot (she will also be a series regular, according to the official press release).
A sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner, Fish Mooney’s got the street smarts and almost extra-sensory abilities to read people like an open book. Imposing and hotheaded, she’s not one to be crossed.
Smith is no stranger to the landscape of TV, having previously starred on TNT’s medical drama Hawthorne from 2009-11 and – back in the 20th century – played a key role on the Bill Cosby college series A Different World from 1991-93. The casting of Will Smith’s actress wife is another intriguing development for the Gotham TV series, which sounds more and more promising by the day; now, it just needs to find its young Bruce Wayne and then the show’s major casting decisions ought to be all done.
Mooney, as it were, will start out on Gotham as the superior to a 20-something Oswald Cobblepot (newcomer Robin Lord Taylor); from thereon out, the series will examine how Oswald evolved into the refined criminal mastermind better known as The Penguin. It’ll be interesting to see what other influence or connection (if any) Mooney has to various other super-villians in the making on Gotham, seeing how the show is supposedly going to re-imagine the origin stories behind various classic Batman baddies (while planting the seeds for Bruce Wayne to evolve into a costumed vigilante).
As for the Gotham TV series in general, Logue has indicated that the setting may take a leaf out of the notebook used by previous onscreen iterations of the eponymous city – like that in Tim Burton’s Batman movie or the 1990s’ Batman: The Animated Series – by having more of a timeless comic book design and feel, rather than a recognizably modern (or a strictly historical-period) vibe, in terms of how the fictional world is presented.
Likewise, the actor suggested that thoughtful moral/ethical dilemmas will drive the plot and character development on the show – though, we wouldn’t necessarily take that to mean that the series will be True Detective set in the Batman universe. Still, for now that’s enough to keep our attention.
Gotham is in development and is expected to air on Fox beginning Fall 2014.