As if the large squee inducing news that Benjamin McKenzie was going to be playing Jim Gordon in Gotham, we’ve gotten a few more indications that the show is going to be high quality even though it might not be long lasting.
It was announced yesterday that the show will feature Jada Pinkett-Smith as a new charcter named Fish Mooney, who is a kind of proto Gotham supervillain, and in who’s criminal organization Oswald Cobblepot, not yet The Penguin serves.
This is cool for several reasons. The first is obviously that Pinkett-Smith is a talented lady. The other is that having the Smith Family Entertainment Machine behind your project is never a bad thing. These people have been making unlikely projects work since 1990. The third is because The Penguin is a character in the Batman mythos who badly needs re-contextualizing. It was a major bummer for a lot of people when Christopher Nolan shied away from him, because Oswald Cobblepot, the anti-Bruce Wayne (as Joker is the anti-Batman) probably would have fit well into that narrative. (And the rumor that Philip Seymour Hoffman was going to play him only broke our hearts more.) Seeing him move up through the ranks of a criminal organization as Gordon moves through the police force is a cool way to give the series some larger structure. I look forward to seeing who gets cast in that role.
But the real excitement for me comes in the announcement that Donal Logue will be playing Harvey Bullock. Bullock’s a fun character, who is pretty much tied to Batman: The Animated Series for me, but has popped up several other Gordon centric stories that I love. Logue is a good call for a character who has to bring the comic relief, but also can’t be a bumbling cop stereotype. He fits the look of a traditional cop, after all, he’s a middle aged Irish dude, and that’s a good idea for a character who’s main function is to say things like, “I don’t trust this Batman fella, comish,” but Logue also has an interesting edge that could make this show something special.
The sigh of relief that I was talking about before is that Fox and Warner Brothers seem to be taking this show seriously, in that they are casting people that are very talented and very good at doing stylized work. McKenzie has worked as the lead in both a teen soap opera and a gritty cop drama. Pinkett-Smith has worked in sit coms and medical dramas. Logue’s body of work is so varied and stylized that pointing to the unexpected quality of Grounded For Life, or the brilliance of Terriers, or his bonkers great work on Sons of Anarchy would be redundant. (But I brought them up anyway, just for funsies.)
That said, now that we know that Bullock is going to be around, if we’re denied Renee Montoya, I will call misogynistic shenanigans.