Scoop: Fox's Gotham Casts The Penguin, Alfred, James Gordon's Fiancée and Captain Essen

Gotham Cast Penguin Barbara Kean

Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards

Holy casting, Batman! Gotham is populating.

Fox’s increasingly buzzy series exploring the origin stories of DC Comics lawman James Gordon (Southland‘s Ben McKenzie) and the villains that made the titular city famous has cast four more series regulars.

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Robin Lord Taylor (Accepted, The Walking Dead) has been cast as Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin, a low-level psychopath — toiling for a gangster named Fish (nod to Jim?) Mooney — who hides his sadistic lust for power behind an exquisitely polite demeanor.

Next, British actor Sean Pertwee (Camelot) will play Alfred Pennyworth, a tough-as-nails ex-Marine who has loyally served the wealthy Wayne family and now, in the wake of Thomas and Martha’s tragic deaths, is protective of their young son Bruce.

Gotham Cast Essen Alfred

Zabryna Guevara, Sean Pertwee

Now, for the women in James Gordon’s life. Zabryna Guevara (Burn Notice) will play Captain Essen, his boss at the GCPD Homicide Squad. She balances the worlds of police and politics with a Machiavellian skill that’s as much corporate litigator as cop.

Erin Richards (Breaking In), meanwhile, has been cast as James’ fiancée, Barbara Kean. A sophisticated ER doctor, she stands by her future husband — which can be difficult in a world as corrupt (batty?) as Gotham.

Bruno Heller (The Mentalist) penned the pilot for Gotham, which was ordered straight to series in September, and will serve as executive producer alongside director Danny Cannon (Nikita).

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52 Comments
  1. Kristin says:

    Excellent casting! Super excited to catch the pilot!

    • I don’t care for batman he was a dud then and still is why can’t they remake some one like supper man and hulk at least they were real supper heroes not some goof ups like stupid man and bu@t head duh ….sorry I won’t watch it

  2. I thought Barbara Gordon was the comm’s daughter.

    • wingsstef says:

      Both mother and daughter are named Barbara.

    • It’s relative. In the modern version she wasn’t. She was his niece. It was later revealed that she was his daughter, born as a result of an affair Jim had with his brother’s wife.

      • Alan says:

        although now in the new 52 she is back to being his daughter with his wife barbara.

        • I’m sure. The “new” 52 has made things as close to the 60’s as they can make them.

          • Alan says:

            or in other words dan didio cant handle character development so he reset everything and screwed up the stories writers were trying to tell.

          • This in spite of his declaration that nothing they were doing with Infinite Crisis and the return of the multiverse would undo the then-modern DC Universe that came after the 85 Crisis.

          • Alan says:

            if you believe anything dan didio says at this stage then you must also like this jar of fresh air that i would like to sell to you.

          • I stopped believing in his word years and years ago. Around the time of One Year Later when it became clear that they were trying to undo the modern age in favor of a pseudo Silver Age.

          • Alan says:

            i stopped giving his crap my time when he made it his mission to kill any interest in stephanie brown, i wont forgive him for cancelling her batgirl series, it was one of the best comics ive ever read and he killed it for spite, that is no way to run a business.

          • Yep. I don’t doubt that many decisions made at DC are based on how much something they do is like the comics of the 60’s and how little something they do is like the comics of the 60’s. Those that don’t meet the criteria of being like the 60’s are removed, which is why Barry Allen is back, Earth 2 is back, etc, etc.

          • Alan says:

            i didnt mind barry being back all that much when it first happened since wally was still around at the same time and actually was used to advance the stories of the other speedsters such as wallys daughter iris becoming the new impulse but then the new 52 happened and undid all that so now i hate it, although wally is coming back soon and so is steph so maybe he has finally gotten it through his head that people liked these characters where they were so maybe he is finally changing his ways.

          • I wouldn’t expect much. I’m inclined to think that Wally is coming back as Kid Flash, as a teenager like he was in the 60’s.

          • Alan says:

            based on the cover to the flash annual which is his first appearance since the new 52 debacle started it seems he will be an adult in a blue version of the flash costume.

          • I still wouldn’t hold out hope that they’ll do things right.

          • Alan says:

            oh i amnt, dont worry about that, ive given up hoping for anything where dc is concerned.

          • So far the only good presentation of the DC characters is happening in other media, like Man of Steel and Arrow, both of which skew closer to the Modern Age (80’s and 90’s) than current comics do. Hopefully this will continue with other shows, like Gotham and Constantine, and the movies, like MoS 2/Batman Versus Superman. Hopefully just like Huntress in Arrow is not “the daughter of the Batman of Earth 2″ like in the comics, Luthor in B vs S won’t be a Superboy fanboy or come from Smallville. He’ll just be young, like in the Earth One graphic novels.

          • Alan says:

            i wouldnt consider man of steel good but arrow yes definitely, why cant dc do more awesome stuff like that?

          • Man of Steel was fantastic. A Modern Age Superman movie. The influence of the Byrne reboot was clear.

          • Alan says:

            superman shouldnt kill, jonathan kent should be an inspiration to him not a coward, and the ridiculous amount of destruction caused by superman while trying to “save” people from zod meant i couldnt take it seriously. its embarrassing that i know i will agree with lex luthor when he appears in the sequel saying that superman is a menace who does more harm than good.

          • Superman has killed before, he’ll kill again. There is nothing about the character that says that he can’t or shouldn’t kill, other than people’s perception of him, mainly those who tend to equate him with Jesus. Superman is not a saint nor holy nor anything else that would keep him from taking a life for the greater good.

            Re: Jonathan, you should check out the original by Siegel and Shuster. There is one panel I tend to post on my Facebook page in which his dialogue encapsulates the version from this movie. He urges Clark to hide his powers from the rest of the world. In those terms, the portrayal is perfect because it is an exact reflection of the original comics and therefore the original intent.

            Doomsday and Superman caused far more destruction in the comics than what we saw in this movie, so that’s really not much of an argument. Destruction on this scale happens in the Superman comics ALL the time. Even in grander scales.

            That said, watch the movie again, and you’ll see that it was Zod who caused all that destruction as he punched Superman through the city. Superman only hit one building on purpose when he slammed Zod’s head against it. The other buildings were destroyed when Zod punched Superman through them.

            Yes, Luthor will make the same arguments against Superman people have been making, heh. But, yeah, I’d urge you to watch the fight scene again if you haven’t. From what I’ve seen, most of the time people have an IDEA of what they saw that doesn’t match what was shown.

            For instance, one comic book pro claimed that the building Zod tossed the oil tanker at was full of people, all of whom Superman callously let burn alive.

            The truth is that the building was a parking garage and the only thing in it were empty cars.

            If you think you saw Superman destroy buildings and kill people, or whatever, I do suggest you watch the scene again and pay attention to who does what exactly.

          • Alan says:

            ive had this argument way too many times to bother going through it again but i will say this: in modern continuity (the last 20-30 years) the only one of dc’s big three heroes who kills is wonder woman and thats the way it should be portrayed it. as for jonathan kent in 99.9% of all stories featuring him he is the man who inspires clark to be the hero he could be and i feel that adds to any superman story to include that in his backstory. and superman caused just as much damage as zod, threw zod into builds just as much as the other way around, no way all those buildings were miraculously empty, and no way was the no one on the streets to be crushed by the falling debris from these buildings. yes a doomsday fight causes more damage but thats because its doomsday, a much bigger threat, and thats to be expected. im still going to agree with everything lex says and thats just embarrassing for the writers that they have failed that badly. i also wont be paying for a ticket to see it because im not going to reward them twice for bad work.
            and with that im done with this argument once and for all.

          • Superman killed Zod in Superman Volume 2 #22 published in 1988, so that falls within your 30 year timeline. He’s also killed others since then.

          • Alan says:

            alright definite last thing im going to say, i would like to point you to the animated film superman vs the elite or the comic story its based on whatever happened to truth justice and the american way? the ultimate argument for why superman shouldnt kill, he is a symbol for the people to look up to and if he kills then he cant be that anymore.

          • That’s not true. Superman can kill and still inspire people. Heroes can kill and be inspirational. Killing doesn’t make a hero a villain.

            In Superman IV Superman drops the unconscious Nuclear Man into a reactor and kills him. Did anyone complain? No, because they dismiss it as Superman killing a clone, as if a clone was not a person.

            By that criteria, neither was Zod since, much like Nuclear Man, he was born in a laboratory. Lex used cells from Superman’s body to create Nuclear Man while Kryptonian scientists used the genetic codex to create Zod. Not much of a difference.

            If we bring toons into this, I direct you to the last episode of Justice League Unlimited, in which Superman deliberately tossed Darkseid through a building.

          • Alan says:

            everyone was too busy complaining about how bad superman 4 at doing everything to complain about any specifics but i guarantee that if it had been any better then people would complain about that.

          • Or people just have a double standard when it comes to Superman.

            If he tosses Darkseid through a building in the cartoon, that’s okay. If he kills Nuclear Man, that’s okay.

            If Zod tosses him through two empty buildings, that’s not fine because he killed millions of people that were not in those empty buildings. He can’t kill Zod because he’s Superman and Superman can’t kill…except when he killed Nuclear Man in IV, and hen he killed Webster’s sister in III, and when he seemingly killed Zor, Ursa, and Non in II, and when he killed Zod, Jax-Ur, and Faora in the comics, or when he killed the Russian Zod in the comics, or when he killed Mxy in the comics. Etc.

  3. “Holy casting, Batman!” Let’s just leave that in the 60’s where it belongs. New Batman. New rules. Look at how detrimental the ghost of the Adam West show was to Birds of Prey and Batman & Robin.

  4. wingsstef says:

    Even more intrigued. I am looking forward to this. It would me nice to see less famous aspects of the characters.

  5. Spindae2 says:

    This are some major casting calls. Hopefully the script is good enough.

  6. Rich says:

    Barbara is suppose to be a brunette. Might have to adjust to this now.

  7. christine says:

    Skeptical about the premise but casting is spot on.

  8. Mike says:

    Definitely looking forward to this! Now I’m really curious about who’s going to play Bruce. Also had no idea Jon Pertwee’s son was also an actor…

  9. Luis says:

    Given Bruno Heller’s track record with The Mentalist, I am definitely looking forward to seeing how he executes this rather unusual premise – it’s akin to producing a show about Perry White’s early journalism career. It could certainly be interesting, and the cast looks first rate

  10. Sebastian says:

    Neat casting, especially the doctor’s son. Only one I don’t like is the Sarah casting. Can’t put my finger on why, just don’t like it. Also, her being Gordon’s superior is wrong. They get together as partners, don’t they?

    • Emily says:

      Unless she’s not Sarah Essen but her mother? Because Sarah Essen is younger than he is, starts out as his partner, ends up his wife…

      • Sebastian says:

        I guess that does seem more likely, given their relative ages. Probably just figured on Sarah because I read Essen, and there’s only one first name that goes with that in relation to Batman. I don’t have a problem with them creating a new related character. If it is her mom, I wonder how long it’ll be before they introduce her.

  11. Dave says:

    Did they announce who will play young Bruce Wayne?

  12. Will says:

    Totally looked at the descriptions wrong thought his wife was being played by Zabryna Guevara. I was excited at the interracial couple aspect. sigh.

  13. Alan says:

    pertwee is a good choice for alfred, not sure about the rest yet, i always saw katee sackhoff as sarah essen but ill see how this plays out.

  14. Craig Hansen says:

    I’m interested in Gotham as a concept show, but Bruno Heller? He took way too long to reveal Red John, who ended up being rather unimpressively-cast in the end. The payoff was not that satisfying… not at all. So his involvement as EP/showrunner worries me.

  15. Joey says:

    Great casting for characters. Getting more excited for the show. Can’t wait to see who they cast for young Bruce Wanye.

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