Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy remains one of the standout series in the comic book movie genre, leaving a substantial impact on the film industry as a whole in the years since its release. One of the main reasons why the films were so successful was the casting. Nolan did an admirable job assembling a top tier roster of talent to act in his tales of Gotham City in regards to both the heroes and the villains. Even the supporting roles were handled by Oscar worthy thespians, including Gary Oldman as Batman ally James Gordon, commissioner of Gotham’s police department.
With Warner Bros. rebooting the Caped Crusader on film to fit within the newly established DC Extended Universe, it means the studio has to find a new group of actors to bring the mythos to life shortly after the previous iteration wrapped up. That sounds like a tall order, but the studio has so far done a very good job accomplishing that task. Case in point: fans were enthused by the news that J.K. Simmons will follow Oldman’s footsteps as Gordon, making his first appearance in Zack Snyder’s Justice League Part One. With the superhero team-up getting ready to begin principal photography, Oldman has now offered some advice for his successor.
Speaking with Yahoo! Movies, Oldman shared what he felt was the best approach to the Gordon character, comparing the dynamic between the Dark Knight and the commissioner to the Sherlock Holmes/Dr. John Watson relationship:
“The thing you’ve just got to get used to with Gordon is he’s a really sound detective, first of all. And he’s really incorruptible, which is a kind of wonderful quality to play and sort of, like, true blue. He’s like a Watson, oddly. He’s sort of like Watson to Sherlock, is Gordon to Batman.”
Though the Gordon presented in the Dark Knight trilogy did decide to go along with Batman’s plan to cover up Harvey Dent’s murder spree, he was overall an “incorruptible” individual fighting for the right thing. He was one of the city’s few decent cops, which was why Bruce Wayne intentionally sought him out in Batman Begins. Gordon is a very important element in this corner of the DC universe given what he represents. His sense of morality and righteousness illustrates to Batman that there are still good people trying to protect Gotham and not all hope is lost.
It can be argued that Ben Affleck’s Batman needs someone like that more than any other big screen incarnation. As a tired and weary crime fighter who’s been at it for 20 years, Bruce Wayne is clearly near the end of his rope in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, branding his enemies and dishing out punishment in a truly brutal fashion. Having a person who is a “true blue” by his side could be very valuable and beneficial, lending support and ensuring Batman never loses focus on the larger goal. With Bruce’s view of the world extremely cynical after all he’s been through, the assertive, no-nonsense Gordon that Simmons should portray is the ideal foil, setting up a fun pairing to watch.
While Simmons is no stranger to playing authoritative figures, this could provide him an opportunity to put a new spin on the trope. Some of his previous works, most noticeably Whiplash, called for him to play someone with dubious and questionable ethics. Even J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy wasn’t exactly “true blue” in his business practices, waging a press war against the perceived menace of the wall-crawler instead of realizing he was a hero. Simmons’ Gordon will more than likely have some rough edges to him (a byproduct of dealing with Gotham’s infamous rogues gallery), but as long as he maintains the pure heart that defines Gordon, he’ll be a great addition to the DCEU and fascinating on multiple levels.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman onJune 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on June 19, 2020.
Source: Yahoo! Movies