Gotham has officially recast the role of Scarecrow, confirming rumors that originally surfaced a number of weeks ago. The infamous Batman villain reappeared in Gotham's season four premiere, with Jonathan Crane (played by Charlie Tahan) transforming into his infamous masked alter ego and setting off to instill fear into the heart of Gotham City. The baddie's reign of terror was short-lived however, as he narrowly escaped being captured by the GCPD in episode two and hasn't been seen since.
Gotham has history when it comes to re-casting its villains. The character of Poison Ivy was originally played by young actress Clare Foley but ahead of the show's third season, the decision was made to switch Ivy from a young girl into an adult woman in the form of Maggie Geha. This was explained on-screen by the convenient introduction of a character who had the ability to rapidly age people through touch. Strangely, the role of Ivy has been recast again for future episodes, with Peyton List taking over from Geha.
Ivy isn't the only Gotham villain on a casting Merry-Go-Round however, as David W. Thompson is officially confirmed to be taking over from Tahan as the Scarecrow. According to TVLine, the decision was not a creative one but was in fact due to Tahan's role in Netflix series Ozark, with the actor unable to balance filming on both series. Thompson is set to debut as the villain when Gotham returns this Spring, confirming rumors that originally surfaced towards the end of 2017.
The news may come as somewhat of a disappointment to many fans, as Charlie Tahan's performance as Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow was largely well received. The young actor was completely believable as a young Cillian Murphy and managed to deliver a sinister blend of unhinged and menacing. Perhaps the biggest question hanging over Scarecrow's return, however, is whether David W. Thompson will be playing Jonathan Crane, or whether he'll be playing another character who will take over the Scarecrow mantle. This would leave the door open for Tahan to potentially return at a later date.
It's difficult to be too critical of Gotham's latest re-casting, as scheduling conflicts with actors are largely out of the show's control. Having said that, there's only so many times a single series can plausibly get away with switching actors and, with Poison Ivy swapping faces faster than Jim Gordon swaps love interests, the new Scarecrow has plenty to prove when he returns later this season.
Gotham returns March 1st with "Pieces Of A Broken Mirror" on Fox.