Sadly, it appears that FOX’s “Gotham” is not, in fact, casting only veterans of “The O.C.” However, the high-profile DC Comics adaptation has added a quartet of actors for regular roles, including the The Penguin and Alfred.
News broke over the weekend that “The O.C.” and “Southland” veteran Ben McKenzie will play Jim Gordon, the detective who will eventually become the Commissioner Gordon of “Batman” lore.
McKenzie will be joined by Robin Lord Taylor, Zabryna Guevara, Sean Pertwee and Erin Richards.
Taylor will play Oswald Cobblepot, who “Gotham” studio WBTV describes as a low-level sociopath “with the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a jackal.” Cobblepot works for gangster Fish Mooney and, if you know your “Batman,” he’s going to become The Penguin at some point.
Credits for Taylor include episodes of “The Walking Dead,” “The Good Wife” and “Person of Interest.”
The other familiar role cast today was Alfred Pennyworth, who is an ex-marine from East London in this incarnation. Pertwee will play the character who does, as we know, becomes fiercely dedicated to young Bruce Wayne after the deaths of the Wayne parents.
You may recognize Pertwee as Lestrade from the London episode of “Elementary.” His other credits include “Dog Soldiers,” plus episodes of “Luther” and “Camelot.”
Richards will play Barbara Kean, another DC Comics character, an ER doctor and fiancee to James Gordon. Richards joined the cast of “Breaking In” for its second FOX season and has also appeared on “Being Human” and “Merlin.”
Finally, Guevara will play Gordon’s GCPD boss Captain Essen. The character log says Essen “balances the two worlds of police and politics with a Machiavellian skill that”s as much corporate litigator as cop.” [Sarah Essen also has a DC Comics history, though this casting would seem to suggest that “Gotham” is steering away from it, right?]
[For the record: In the All-“O.C.” version of “Gotham,” we probably cast Mischa Barton as Barbara Keen, Taylor Handley as The Penguin, Melinda Clarke as Captain Essen and… Is there an obvious Alfred I’m forgetting? Johnny Messner with an awful British accent?]
We’re still awaiting the casting of Young Bruce Wayne, who will have a rather important role in the prequel series. The character is expected to be around 12.
FOX has given a direct-to-series order for “Gotham,” which has been adapted by Bruno Heller, with a pilot directed by Danny Cannon.