What’s the Big Deal About… Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon?

Ben McKenzie in SOUTHLAND (Image Credit: TNT)
Ben McKenzie in SOUTHLAND (Image Credit: TNT)

You may be a little tired of hearing about the comic book film/TV casting updates that have surfaced over the past few weeks/months, but chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re not. Just as Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons were recently cast in the Man of Steel sequel, the world of D.C. (from comic to film, that is) continues to expand with the announcement of Southland’s Ben McKenzie as Commissioner Jim Gordon in Gotham, a new series set to air on Fox.

The prequel-esque show will follow Jim Gordon before he became JIM GORDON. The exciting news also suggests room for a bevy of D.C. characters crossing over in integral appearances given the show’s ambiguous title. Other casting choices include Sean Petrew (Equilibrium) as a young Alfred Pennyworth and Robin Taylor (Another Earth) as Oswald Cobblepot. Different versions of comic characters are fascinating and seeing as how these characters are relatively young, they are placed in a light a lot of people aren’t familiar with. Also, I can’t help but think the show will play out in more of a crime procedural sense, focusing on Gordon’s keen eye as a detective, though he is hardly a pushover.

Anyone who’s familiar with Frank Miller’s Year One knows that Gordon faced quite a few odds as he rose in the ranks to become not only Commissioner, but a noble member of the law – not an easy feat in a city like Gotham.  As a matter of fact, Year One suggests he’s quite a brawler. Therefore, McKenzie is just the man for the job considering he’s no stranger to action (see TNT’s Southland), and it will be refreshing to see someone else take on the role than Gary Oldman, who respectively played a very memorable Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Actually, to complete the security of the casting choice, McKenzie voiced Batman in D.C.’s animated adaptation of Year One, so he’s certainly familiar with the material and maybe even on the same page as the show’s creators. Speaking of, Danny Canon is onboard as the show’s director/producer, hot off the heels of the excellent Nikita, which ended last year – this is indeed exciting news.

Standby for an official release date, a day that will surely quench the thirst of fan geekdom everywhere.

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Jesse Tabit is a native of Charleston, WV. He studies journalism at West Virginia University.

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