Benjamin McKenzie has nabbed the lead role in FOX's "Gotham". The "Southland" star is to play Detective James Gordon, who would later be the city's commissioner, in the Batman prequel pilot.
Written by "The Mentalist" scribe Bruno Heller, the pilot explores the origin story of the Gotham City's most renowned residents such as young Batman, The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler and Penguin. "This is not one of the things where you bought a franchise and then none of characters people know," FOX's entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly previously told reporters. "We will follow Bruce Wayne right up until the point where he gets interesting."
Reilly also pointed out the meaning of origin story, saying, "We're not starting in that world where the villains are in costume. You see markers for it that are delicious you see where the evolution and eccentricity where they become those characters. We don't start off with capes and costumes."
The network has ordered its pilot with series commitment. Heller, who will reunite with McKenzie for the first time since "Mentalist", also serves as executive producer while Danny Cannon will direct and executive produce the pilot.