Fox‘s Batman-themed drama Gotham has cast its lead, Detective James Gordon. Southland alum Ben McKenzie has been tapped for the role in the project, which has a series commitment. Based on DC characters from the Batman universe, Gotham explores the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon (McKenzie) and the villains that made Gotham City famous. It includes younger versions of Bruce Wayne and Alfred as well villains the Riddler, Catwoman, the Joker and the Penguin. In Gotham, Gordon is an idealistic rookie detective for Gotham City Open Police Department’s Homicide Squad, a former college football star and a war hero. Gotham is written/exec produced by The Mentalist creator Bruno Heller, with Danny Cannon directing/exec producing for Warner Bros. TV.
The Gotham casting sets another highlight in McKenzie’s relationship with Warner Bros. TV where he has spent his entire TV career to date. It stems from a talent deal he signed with the studio in October. McKenzie was a fresh-faced 24-year-old with virtually no credits when WBTV cast him a decade ago as the lead of its Fox teen drama The O.C. He went on to topline the studio’s cop drama Southland and starred in WBTV’s CBS drama pilot The Advocates last season. McKenzie is with CAA, Management 360 and PJ Shapiro.