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

Get More: Casting News, Pilots
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).

Comments (51)

  • Excellent casting! Super excited to catch the pilot!

    Comment by Kristin – February 11, 2014 10:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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

      Comment by sue justasiam – February 11, 2014 07:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought Barbara Gordon was the comm’s daughter.

    Comment by Alan Martins Rodrigues – February 11, 2014 10:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Both mother and daughter are named Barbara.

      Comment by wingsstef – February 11, 2014 10:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 10:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Thank you, Captains. :)

        Comment by Alan Martins Rodrigues – February 11, 2014 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • although now in the new 52 she is back to being his daughter with his wife barbara.

        Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 12:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I’m sure. The “new” 52 has made things as close to the 60′s as they can make them.

          Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 12:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • or in other words dan didio cant handle character development so he reset everything and screwed up the stories writers were trying to tell.

            Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 12:53 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 12:57 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 12:59 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 01:03 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 01:06 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 01:09 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 01:13 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 01:23 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 01:24 PM PDT  
          • I still wouldn’t hold out hope that they’ll do things right.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 01:29 PM PDT  
          • oh i amnt, dont worry about that, ive given up hoping for anything where dc is concerned.

            Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 01:30 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 01:37 PM PDT  
          • i wouldnt consider man of steel good but arrow yes definitely, why cant dc do more awesome stuff like that?

            Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 01:40 PM PDT  
          • Man of Steel was fantastic. A Modern Age Superman movie. The influence of the Byrne reboot was clear.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 01:43 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 01:46 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 01:55 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 02:07 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 02:09 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 02:11 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 02:19 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 02:21 PM PDT  
          • 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.

            Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 02:27 PM PDT  
  • “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.

    Comment by Michael Sacal – February 11, 2014 10:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • its never going to be left behind, its still to this day the most iconic version of the character in the general public, not with comic nerds like us but it is to everyone else, so this will be done every single time on any website which isnt comic centered.

      Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 12:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Even more intrigued. I am looking forward to this. It would me nice to see less famous aspects of the characters.

    Comment by wingsstef – February 11, 2014 10:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This are some major casting calls. Hopefully the script is good enough.

    Comment by Spindae2 – February 11, 2014 10:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Barbara is suppose to be a brunette. Might have to adjust to this now.

    Comment by Rich – February 11, 2014 10:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There’s this thing now where you can change your hair color. Apparently people do it all the time.

      Comment by r0ckmypants – February 11, 2014 11:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Skeptical about the premise but casting is spot on.

    Comment by christine – February 11, 2014 10:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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…

    Comment by Mike – February 11, 2014 10:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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

    Comment by Luis – February 11, 2014 10:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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?

    Comment by Sebastian – February 11, 2014 10:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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…

      Comment by Emily – February 11, 2014 10:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • 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.

        Comment by Sebastian – February 11, 2014 11:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Did they announce who will play young Bruce Wayne?

    Comment by Dave – February 11, 2014 11:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Totally looked at the descriptions wrong thought his wife was being played by Zabryna Guevara. I was excited at the interracial couple aspect. sigh.

    Comment by Will – February 11, 2014 12:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Alan – February 11, 2014 12:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Craig Hansen – February 11, 2014 12:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • (I’m speaking, of course, of the mess that The Mentalist has devolved to.)

      Comment by Craig Hansen – February 11, 2014 12:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great casting for characters. Getting more excited for the show. Can’t wait to see who they cast for young Bruce Wanye.

    Comment by Joey – February 11, 2014 02:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
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