Batman Prequel ‘Gotham’ Finds Its Penguin & Alfred

Over the weekend, Fox made a surprise announcement that Ben McKenzie (“Southland”) will portray Detective James Gordon in the upcoming Batman prequel series, “Gotham.” According to early reports, “Gotham” will take place several years before Bruce Wayne became Batman and follow the story of Gordon’s rise in the Gotham P.D. while he takes on some of Batman’s future villains.
Towards that end, Deadline is reporting that four of the major roles have been filled. Robin Lord Taylor has been cast as  Oswald Cobblepot, the man who will one day become known as The Penguin. In “Gotham,” Cobblepot is described as “a low-level psychopath” working for mob boss Fish Mooney who has “the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a jackal.” Taylor’s previous TV appearances include “The Walking Dead,” Law & Order: SVU” and “Person of Interest.”
Sean Pertwee is also joining the cast as a younger version of Alfred, the Wayne family’s loyal butler who is “fiercely protective” of Bruce Wayne in the aftermath of his parents’ murder. Alfred is also described as a “tough-as-nails ex-marine from East London.” Pertwee has previously appeared in “Camelot,” “The Tudors” and “Luther.”
Jennifer Wiley Stockton will play Captain Sarah Essen, Gordon’s superior at the Gotham City Police Department’s homicide squad. Essen’s incarnation in this show is said to be able to balance “the worlds of police and politics with a Machiavellian skill that’s as much corporate litigator as cop.”
And finally, Zabryna Guevara will portray Barbara Kean, Gordon’s future wife who is “a sophisticated emergency room doctor” and fiercely loyal to Gordon. Guevara recurred on “Burn Notice” and has guest starred on “Person of Interest,” “Common Law” and “Blue Bloods.”
“Gotham” was ordered straight-to-series last fall; which means that it will likely premiere on Fox in Fall 2014. Production of the pilot episode is expected to begin soon.