Ben McKenzie Talks Gotham And Playing Gordon As A Hero Forced To Compromise

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Though McKenzie admits he was never that kid who threw himself headfirst into comic books throughout his youth, he does consider himself “a big fan” of Batman:

The thing that I think is universally relateable about Batman is he’s not a superhero. He has no special powers. He’s simply a man who’s experienced this extreme trauma, and has access to all sort of gadgets and weaponry that a wealthy person could have, and has an emotional need for justice. As an actor, I’m much more interested in people.

That interest in the imperfect but driven characters of the DC universe is partially what drew him to playing Gordon. In McKenzie’s words:

Gordon couldn’t be more human. In a DC universe where all of these characters are human, he is Exhibit A in being a simple, flawed human being. He’s strong and smart and tough, but he’s going to make wrong decisions and trust the wrong people. And he has no out — he can’t put on a cape and fly off.

The fact that Gordon is in it for the long haul should make it all the more interesting to see how he deals with the moral decay rife throughout the police department in Gotham City. It would be really exciting to see Gotham adapt the Batman: Year One storyline for Gordon and have him fending off corrupt cops who want him dead, though of course that would require major rewrites of scenes in the comic (seeing as Bruce Wayne is still a kid and nowhere near ready to suit up in this series).

We know already that Gotham will find Gordon building a strong relationship with Bruce and his butler Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), which in fact works to shape the boy’s destiny as the Dark Knight. The series will also chart the origins of several characters in Batman’s rogues’ gallery, like the Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) and Poison Ivy (Clare Foley). However, Gordon’s greatest opponent, at least in the show’s 16-episode first season, will be sadistic crime boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), whose extra-sensory abilities make her very hard to take down.

Gotham will premiere this fall on Fox.

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