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Southland's Ben McKenzie is Gotham's James Gordon

Southland

Story by Jack Foley

FORMER Southland star Ben McKenzie has landed the lead role of James Gordon in Fox’s Batman prequel Gotham.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor – who landed his big break on Fox’s The O.C – has won the coveted role of the man who will go on to become the commissioner of Gotham and work together with the Caped Crusader to restore law and order to his city.

The pilot, which has a series commitment, is described as an origins tale that will focus on Commissioner Gordon and the villains that made Gotham famous.

It will follow Gordon’s rise from rookie detective for Gotham City Open Police Department’s Homicide Squad to the man DC Comics’ fans now know to be Batman’s closest ally.

The series is being written and executive produced by The Mentalist showrunner Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon (of CSI and Nikita fame) will direct and executive produce the pilot.

According to the report, iconic DC characters The Joker, Riddler, Penguin and Catwoman are also expected to be part of the project, with the overall plan for the series said to be seeing Bruce Wayne putting on the cape and becoming Batman – a similar approach to storytelling that was adopted by Smallville with the Superman tale.

McKenzie follows a number of actors in stepping into Gordon’s shoes. Neil Hamilton first played him on ABC’s 1960s series Batman, Pat Hingle took on the role in Tim Burton’s 1989 feature and Gary Oldman most recently portrayed the dogged detective in Christopher Nolan’s Batman/Dark Knight franchise.

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