gordonEXCLUSIVE: Danny Cannon has been tapped to direct and executive produce the pilot for Fox’s high-profile comic book drama Gotham, from Warner Bros. TV and The Mentalist creator Bruno Heller. The project, which landed at Fox in September after a bidding war, mines DC Comics’ popular Batman character universe and explores the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon and the villains who made Gotham City famous. It has a series commitment and is expected to go to series as the project is a priority for the network, and the pilot has a series penalty behind it.

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In Gotham, Gordon is still a detective with the Gotham City Police Department and has yet to meet Batman, who will not be part of the series. Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, Commissioner Gordon has appeared in comic books as well as Batman films and series, including in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, where he was played by Gary Oldman.

CAA-repped Cannon directed the pilots and served as an executive producer on the CSI franchise. He also directed the pilot and exec produced the CW’s Nikita, serves as exec producer on the network’s freshman The Tomorrow People, whose pilot he also directed, along with the Lifetime pilot The Lottery. He also is attached to direct a 1930s Hollywood drama project set up at the CW with Ellen DeGeneres’ company producing through Warner Bros. TV.