Riddle me this: Who’s the young Broadway veteran that just got cast as the nascent version of one of Batman’s greatest bad guys, the one dressed in green and has a penchant for popping crime-related quizzes? If you said Cory Michael Smith, you’d be correct. Smith, who’s known more for his New York stage work than any particular film or TV credit, has been cast in Fox’s straight-to-series comic book based-procedural, Gotham, as Edward Nygma, the man who becomes The Riddler.
Smith’s future-Riddler becomes the latest Batman character to join the cast list for Fox’s series, which is designed to be a prequel of sorts that chronicles the arrival of a young Commissioner Gordon (Ben McKenzie) to Gotham City and follows his early days on the police force there as a rookie detective. Robin Taylor and Camren Bicondova were previously announced to be playing Oswald Cobblepot and Selina Kyle, the future Penguin and Catwoman, respectively, and Donal Logue, Erin Richards, Sean Pertwee, David Mazouz, Zabryna Guevara and Jada Pinkett-Smith round out the cast.
For the purposes of Gotham, the Riddler’s origin will be as one of the Gotham PD’s resident CSIs described as “socially awkward forensic scientist who’s eccentric and outgoing and desperate to be liked.” Smith will appear in the pilot as Nygma, but the role may become regular or recurring as the series goes on. Producers would be wise to hang on to Smith because along with his acclaimed run as Fred opposite Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) as Holly Golightly in Broadway’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, he appeared in the Sundance hit Camp X-Ray and will next been seen in the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge and Todd Haynes’ Carol.
Gotham, which is being produced by Bruno Heller (The Mentalist) and Danny Cannon (CSI), will premiere sometime in 2014. We’ll keep you posted when we hear more.