After months of teases, Ra’s al Ghul finally arrives in a new featurette from Gotham. For almost three seasons now, Gotham has introduced a variety of villains from DC Comics. While the updated takes on the villains haven’t always been met positively by fans and critics, the show has nevertheless created a universe that’s both gritty and campy in its interpretation of source material. The show hasn’t merely stuck to obscure rogues, either, with the likes of the Riddler and Penguin featuring on the series since the beginning. The show has even teased a version of the Joker, though the producers and writers have yet to commit to any one take on the character.
For some time now, we’ve known that Harley Quinn will be showing up in some form on the show during the season finale, and she won’t the only iconic character in the episode. A few months ago, word broke that Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones) had been cast as Ra’s al Ghul. And while Bruce has been training with the League of Assassins for a few episodes now, he’s yet to meet their mysterious leader. That will all change in the finale when Siddig finally emerges as al Ghul.
FOX has released a new featurette for the finale, showing off the debut of Ra’s al Ghul and offering insight into his character. In between clips of Bruce and Ra’s interacting, there’s interviews with the various stars of the show about the addition of the actor and character. Not only does Siddig look striking in his costume, but we even see the Lazarus Pit that keeps him young.
Of course, Ra’s al Ghul is no stranger to live-action. Liam Neeson appeared as the character in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Following that, Matt Nable took on the role in the Arrowverse for season four of Arrow. While those two prominent roles could diminish Siddig’s portrayal, he’ll actually bring the most authenticity to the role yet as the first Arabic actor to play the traditionally whitewashed role.
Gotham is not usually known for achieving where its peers have failed, but the casting of Siddig shows the producers are interested in properly honoring the source material and the history of the character. More than that, Siddig will bring a gravitas to the performance that may even surpass Neeson’s take on Ra’s.
The inclusion of Ra’s in the finale also hints at the future of Gotham. With Gotham season 4 officially a go, it’s not hard to imagine Siddig returning, as either a friend of foe of Bruce and Gotham City, next season. His character will push Bruce into new moral territory, testing his resolve and shaping the hero that he is destined to become.
Gotham season 3 concludes with ‘Destiny Calling’ and ‘Heavydirtysoul’ on Monday, June 5.