The gears are well and truly turning on the new TV version of the Batman world, which will have no direct connection to either Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight universe or the Ben Affleck Batman set to debut in Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel sequel due in 2016. With Danny Cannon aboard to call the shots from Mentalist man Bruno Heller’s script, we now know who will be playing the central figure of officer (and future Commissioner) James Gordon: Ben McKenzie.
It doesn’t hurt that the actor, whose TV career was set in motion by The O.C., has spent the last few years playing LAPD officer Ben Sherman on (underrated) cop drama Southland.
Gotham's Gordon will be a similarly driven policeman, a rookie detective for Gotham City Police Department's Homicide Squad. A college football star and a war hero, Gordon was fast-tracked through the GCPD ranks. We're told that he's brave, energetic and honest, and striving to live up to the classical virtues of a father he barely knew. He's also "an idealistic soul, to the point of naiveté". But all those virtues are "tempered by analytical intelligence and an ambitious alpha male ego" so don't go thinking he won't put his ideals into action.
Of course, he’ll also have to deal with early versions of some of the Batman universe’s biggest villains, including Catwoman, The Riddler, The Penguin, and most challengingly, The Joker. The series will follow a young Bruce Wayne as he grows up and eventually – though not, according to the current plan, in the run of the series – embraces his destiny as the Caped Crusader.
McKenzie, who starred in an unsuccessful pilot for Heller a few years ago, will be reporting for duty soon.