For everyone who’s ever wondered how Gotham City became the singular cess pool that needed to be rescued by a billionaire in a rubber suit, FOX has created Gotham. The series follows novice cop Jim Gordon as he navigates the city that’s slowly brewing one of the most villainous (and exciting) rogue’s galleries in the history of fiction. Of course, this city on the slide has only one hero, a straight laced cop who’s slowly losing out to the insanity brewing around him. If you’ve never spent some time with Jim Gordon and the nut jobs patrolling his adopted home town, then you’ve missed out on one of the best cop shows on television. Of course, if you have been following along, there are still plenty of interesting facts you may not know about the first days of Batman’s origin story.
1. Something in Common With Batman
In Gotham, Batman is still a young boy who’s grieving over the murder of his do-gooder parents. The young actor who plays Bruce Wayne, David Mazouz, has the same birthday as his fictional counterpart: February 19.
2. A Look Forward at Oracle
In the series, Jim and Barbara Gordon live in a clock tower. In the comics, their daughter (also named Barbara) briefly becomes Batgirl before getting crippled by the Joker and setting up shop as Batman’s resident techie, Oracle. Oracle’s HQ is an old clock tower.
3. Jada Pinkett Smith Owned Her Fish Mooney Audition
When Jim Gordon rolls into Gotham City, one of the most fearsome gangsters in town is the ambitious Fish Mooney. The actress who plays her — the incomparable Jada Pinkett Smith — was so dialed into the part (and ready to prove her dominance) that she brought a man on a leash to her audition. No, it wasn’t Will.
4. The Joker’s Origin Story?
In the entirety of comic history, no one has ever provided a definitive origin story for the Joker. Some have postulated. Tim Burton transformed Jack Nicholson from hoodlum to the Joker in 1989’s Batman, and Alan Moore spun a tale for The Killing Joke only to cast doubt on its plausibility in the closing pages. The man behind the paint has never truly been given an origin story, until now. Cameron Monaghan portrays Jerome Valeska, a character who’s been described as a “proto-Joker”.
5. Ben McKenzie Is the Second Actor Who Has Played Both Batman and Jim Gordon
Obviously McKenzie plays Jim Gordon in Gotham, but he also voiced the Caped Crusader in the 2011 animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. The only other actor to complete this feat was a fella named Bruce Thomas who has voiced Commissioner Gordon in a few animated films and Batman in a few OnStar commercials like 15 years ago.
6. Ben McKenzie is Gary Oldman
Gotham star Ben McKenzie has not minced words about where he got his characterization from. The actor said Gary Oldman’s turn as Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was his inspiration for playing Gordon.
7. Morena Baccarin Does Double Duty For Comic Media
Originally coming to fame as a member of the Serenity crew on Joss Whedon’s Firefly, Morena Baccarin has since been adopted by the nerd community for anything and everything. At present, she is Deadpool’s love interest, the voice of the Gideon computer on The Flash TV series, and Dr. Leslie Thompkins on Gotham. That’s not even including her past comic work and her voice credits.
8. Paul Reubens Played the Penguin’s Dad Twice
Famous funnyman Paul Reubens has played Oswald Cobblepot’s father twice. In Gotham, and in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. He can be seen in the opening moments of the film looking dubiously at his son’s crib and then dropping him into an icy river. Father of the year.
9. Robin Lord Taylor Is Inspired By Burton
As Oswald Cobblepot, the man who will become the Penguin, Robin Lord Taylor brings a certain manic charm to the burgeoning criminal mastermind. For the role, Taylor looked to Tim Burton’s Batman Returns and Danny DeVito’s chilling portrayal of the Penguin to inform the part.
10. Complimenting the Bird
Speaking of DeVito’s turn in Batman Returns, it seems that he and Carol Kane (the actress who plays Oswald Cobblepot’s mother in Gotham) have been friends since they both appeared on Taxi. One day, while returning from lunch with DeVito, Carol Kane relayed a message to Robin Lord Taylor, saying that DeVito watched the show and was a big fan of Taylor’s performance. Taylor was reportedly, “over the moon.”
11. Studiously Avoiding a Time Period
Showrunner Bruno Heller is intent that Gotham not be stuck into any given time period. As a result, he’s been sure to include technology from every era in the series, from smart phones to CRT televisions.
12. Art Imitating Life
Avid viewers of Gotham know that the series features a relationship between Jim Gordon and Dr. Leslie Thompkins, portrayed by Ben McKenzie and Morena Baccarin respectively. In real life, the two actors just got married. They also have a child together. No telling if it’s a burgeoning computer whiz/aspiring vigilante.
13. Nods to the Old Series
Gotham is sure to pay tribute to the older TV series that came before it, namely the campy Adam West vehicle from the 1960s. For example, in Gotham, eagle-eyed viewers can spot a bust of Shakespeare on a bookshelf in Wayne Manor. In the Batman TV series, Adam West opened up his secret entrance to the Bat Cave by pressing a button hidden in a bust of the Bard. What’s more, the ringtone on Edward Nygma’s smartphone is the original intro music to the 1960s series. Pretty clever for a guy who will one day become the Riddler.
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