Over the past couple weeks there’s been a lot of casting for Fox’s Batman prequel TV series “Gotham,” including Sean Pertwee as a younger Alfred Pennyworth and Robin Lord Taylor as a younger Oswald Cobblepot, the man who becomes The Penguin. Now another character has been cast, but not from the comic books.
EW has word that Jada Pinkett Smith has landed a role in the series which follows Ben McKenzie as a young James Gordon working as a rookie detective in Gotham City. But Smith won’t be playing any recognizable villains from the expansive mythology of Batman. Instead, Smith is playing Fish Mooney, a woman described as “a sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner, she’s got the street smarts and almost extra-sensory abilities to read people like an open book. Imposing and hotheaded, she’s not one to be crossed.”
Mooney also oversees the activities of the young Cobblepot. There’s probably something to be said about the relationship between penguins and fish, but we’ll let the show deal with that. Is there a chance that Fish Mooney could become a more iconic character from the Batman universe? Sources from the production are saying the character is completely original, but there’s no saying that couldn’t change as the series goes on (if it lasts anyway).
For those keeping track, other characters involved also include Captain Essen (Zabryna Guevara) as Gordon’s boss and Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) as Gordon’s fiancee, and there’s even talk of a young Bruce Wayne getting into the mix somewhere, in addition to a potential origin story for Catwoman, The Riddler and other iconic Batman villains.
It’ll be interesting to see how this series turns out since it follows these characters before Batman makes things interesting in Gotham City, and that doesn’t sound all that enticing. But Donal Logue, who has been cast as Harvey Bullock, made the case for a very compelling new drama series.
Of course, there haven’t been many prequels that have been home runs (though Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a good candidate), and I can’t help but think of these words from Patton Oswalt about origin stories:
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