This fall will mark the premiere of the first truly series Batman television series as Gotham is looking to follow in line with the Christopher Nolan tone and deliver a gritty drama — not unlike a weekly digital comic book. This past weekend saw Ben McKenzie cast as Jim Gordon but Tuesday saw four other major characters cast as well as key descriptions about them revealed.
Gotham cast The Penguin, Alfred Pennyworth, Barbara Kean and Captain Essen. The juiciest part of the announcement was the character descriptions that will no doubt start a debate among Batman fans everywhere. Here’s a look at the new versions of classic characters, thanks to their descriptions being posted by Variety.
Description: With the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a jackal, Cobblepot is a low-level psychopath for gangster Fish Mooney, and hides his sadistic lust for power behind an exquisitely polite demeanor. Played by Robin Lord Taylor.
Reaction: We haven’t seen a film version of The Penguin where he works below someone, so it will be interesting to chart his rise in the criminal underworld as he starts from the bottom. Barbara Kean
Description: Jim Gordon’s fiancee. A sophisticated emergency doctor, Kean stands by her husband amid the corrupt world of Gotham. Played by Erin Richards.
Reaction: She sounds like she’ll be playing a very big role in the show, and coupled with the fact that Captain Essen and Jim Gordon have a romantic history in the comics, we could see her emerge as an emotional character we all come to love.
Description: A tough-as-nails ex-marine from East London, Pennyworth has loyally served the Wayne family. Now, in the wake of their tragic deaths, he’s fiercely protective of the young Bruce Wayne — the boy who will eventually become Batman. Played by Sean Pertwee.
Reaction: This is absolutely the best possible way they could have cast Alfred. It’s straight out of the Earth One story and will not only allow for plenty of action scenes from Alfred but will show just how Batman learned all he did in this new origin story.
Description: Detective Gordon’s boss at the Gotham City Police Department Homicide Squad. Essen balances the two worlds of police and politics with a Machiavellian skill that’s as much corporate litigator as cop.
Reaction: Captain Essen was actually married to Jim Gordon in some of the comics, which could lead to an interesting love triangle between Jim, Barbara and Essen. She’s the most unknown character to most casual fans who will watch the show, so she may become one of the more interesting characters because of that.
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