Not to be outdone by The CW when it comes to comic book-related content, Fox is taking on one of DC's best-known cities and basing a new police show around it. Gotham will be set long before Bruce Wayne begins dressing up as a bat and fighting crime, and will instead focus on James Gordon as the protagonist, following the Commissioner-to-be in his younger days as a rookie detective in Gotham City Police Department.
The young Gordon himself will be played by Ben McKenzie (Southland), but there's still a whole cast of colorful characters to fill out - both allies and enemies. It was previously reported that 10 year-old Bruce Wayne will appear as a series regular, which means that the inclusion of Alfred Pennyworth was to be expected; recent rumors also suggested that Oswald Cobbleplot a.k.a. The Penguin would be the first villain to appear in the show.
Sure enough, casting is storming ahead and Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers) has just announced for the role of Alfred. Robin Lord Taylor is set the play the 20-something Oswald, and two other roles have also been filled: Zabryna Guevara (Burn Notice) as Captain Sarah Essen, Jim's GCPD boss whose job requires her to be "as much corporate litigator as cop," and Erin Richards (Merlin) as Jim's fiancé, Barbara Kean, who is a "sophisticated emergency room doctor." It can't be easy to pull off sophistication in a place where practically everyone is bleeding and/or puking.
To sum up, that's one relatively famous actor cast alongside three mostly unknown actors. Taylor was most recently seen in an episode of The Walking Dead, in which he played one half of an unfortunate couple that Rick and Carol come across while out searching for supplies. According to the character description, the young Cobblepot is a humble crony to a gangster called Fish Mooney, and is "a low-level psychopath" who secretly lusts after power but hides his intentions behind a mask of extreme politeness.
The casting of Barbara Kean suggests that Gotham might also include her pregnancy with Barbara Gordon, who had her own vigilante career - first as Batgirl and then as Oracle - in the comic books. The fact that Jim has a family, or soon will do, puts him in a precarious position as a crime-fighter, since Batman's villains aren't exactly known for leaving loved ones out of a fight.
Based on how quickly Gotham is coming together, it wouldn't be surprising to see it airing on Fox as early as this fall. With the final release date for Batman vs. Superman still uncertain (will it stay in 2016?), it would be nice to have something Gotham-related to watch in the meantime.
We'll keep you updated on Gotham as development continues.
Source: Warner Bros.