Gotham’s Shane West Almost Played Mr. Freeze Instead Of Bane

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If you’re up to speed on Gotham, then you remember meeting Eduardo Dorrance in the most recently aired episode, “Pena Dura.” Played by Shane West, this fella will actually transition to the Bane persona before you know it, but he’s going to be giving Jim Gordon and the rest of the GCPD their share of headaches before the big moment arrives.

Believe it or not, it seems like West’s previously established working relationship with executive producer Danny Cannon helped in landing him the role. In fact, this was something the actor elaborated on during a recent chat with ComicBook.com:

“Well, it was out of the blue as I’m assuming a lot of their final season was. Gotham had now gone into five years and they were trying to, they had saved some characters for the finale so I think Bane was always one that they could’ve easily done earlier if they wanted to but they decided to wait. ​[I was] familiar with Danny Cannon, one of the executive producers because he worked on Nikita. He was one of the exec producers on Nikita and they had talked about me before in the past for other roles. One of the hardest things for me in that time was I was doing a series called Salem.

“We had a phone call and I asked, I was basically like okay, I’m trying to get a little history on this Dorrance guy and then finally, Danny snapped and he goes, ‘Shane, all right, it’s gonna be Bane, all right? That’s what it’s gonna be.’ I was like, ‘All right, cool.'”

Interestingly enough, history could’ve played out differently if only West hadn’t been committed to another project. As it turns out, he had been approached to inhabit the role of Mr. Freeze.

“There was one. Well, involving Gotham. We had a little bit of a go with Mr. Freeze actually. I was excited about that because obviously another iconic Batman villain and once again, at that point, I had never played anyone yet.​ But I think because I was on Salem and I think the guy who did it was much more right for the role than I was anyway, but I think that it helped things just not working out and then a couple years go by or probably three or four, I’m not even sure of the timeline, but all of the sudden, coming back with something like Bane felt like it was like wow, I think waiting was the right choice.”

Of course, it was Nathan Darrow who was cast as Mr. Freeze during season 2, and has remained the coolest customer in town ever since. If you were to ask me, I’m fine with how everything unfolded because I do rather enjoy what Darrow’s brought to the character, as the producers managed to put their own spin on the “Heart of Ice” tale.

When it comes to West as Bane, meanwhile, I’ll have to reserve my judgment until he actually dons the mask. This show’s take on the brute may bear more resemblance to Mortal Kombat‘s Kabal, sure, but it’s all about the performance in the end.

Gotham returns with new episodes on Thursday, February 14th on Fox.

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