Fox’s ‘Gotham’ Casts Classic ‘Batman’ Characters the Penguin, Alfred Pennyworth

Gotham Casting Fox

Announcement follows news that Ben McKenzie will topline the project

After tapping Ben McKenzie to play a young Commissioner Gordon, Fox continues to bulk up its “Gotham” cast, announcing classic roles including the Penguin and Alfred Pennyworth for the much-anticipated “Batman” origin series.

Robin Lord Taylor will play Oswald Cobblepot, or the man better known as DC Comics villain the Penguin. 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.

Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s butler, will be played by Sean Pertwee. 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.

Additionally, Zabryna Guevara has been cast as Captain Essen, 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. Erin Richards will play Barbara Kean, the fiance of Detective Gordon (McKenzie). A sophisticated emergency doctor, Kean stands by her husband amid the corrupt world of Gotham. Richards is repped by WME, Magnolia Entertainment and Curtis Brown in the UK.

Bruno Heller penned the pilot script for “Gotham,” which explores the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon and the villains that made Gotham famous. A young Bruce Wayne has yet to be cast, though Fox topper Kevin Reilly hinted that he will be featured in the drama. Project currently has a series commitment at Fox.

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  1. Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazuchelli (1987) remains a rich source of material for DC multimedia. This story was used generously in the BATMAN BEGINS movie and; as Sgt. Essen debuted in that comic; clearly is the primary basis for the GOTHAM TV show. Beefing up the Alfred role and using Penguin as the principal villain smacks of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Batman Earth One graphic novel (2012), so there might be a stylistic clash to address, not to mention that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s current Batman: Zero Year story arc (2013-ongoing) has other contrary elements to consider. Still, there is plenty of story to run with, here, and ample opportunity for rich stories with vivid characters to explore. Particularly if the noir elements of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Long Halloween (1996) are included, then the Falcone crime family of Gotham City will provide plenty of intrigue! My vote is for James Gordon Jr. to emerge as the adolescent sociopathic wildcard, with behavior even more horrifying than that of the Joker. That’s the kind of danger which will make GOTHAM great!

  2. jimmy woo says:

    This direction of comic book, TV media needs to stop. While Agents of SHIELD is good, it is just a cop show in the Marvel Universe. Nothing we don’t have a ton of on TV already.We do not need a similar DC TV show. DC is doing good work on TV with Arrow and spinoffs. It did a great job with Smallville.

    This fear of using Super Heroes properly bounds on paranoia.Use your products. There is no reason not to have both TV and movie Heroes with different or the same actors playing them. I find the Batman dull sometimes. After all, he has no super powers. A series with all his backgrounds and supporting characters but, not him? Even more so.

    I consider these shows half-assed attempts at the Marvel and DC Universes.We have 50 shows on TV like these already. Dull, procedural and unoriginal.

    Spare us please. Bring in the Super Heroes. Go all out.

  3. scootrmonkey says:

    Reblogged this on my mostly unfabulous life and commented:
    interesting casting –

  4. Dale Hopson says:

    Adding the Penguin means more toys to sell…

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