"Gotham" Casts Ben McKenzie as James Gordon

"The O.C." and "Southland" alum Ben McKenzie has been cast as Detective James Gordon in "Gotham," the Fox drama centering on the early careers of both the future police commissioner and Batman's greatest foes.

Deadline reports that the series, executive produced by "The Mentalist" creator Bruno Heller, will depict Gordon as rookie on the Gotham City Police Department's homicide squad, a former college-football star and a war hero.

Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly confirmed last month that "Gotham," which was given a series commitment by the network, will also follow a young Bruce Wayne from about age 12 to when he dons the cape, in the final episode. He also revealed that the featured rogues won't be second-stringers, but rather marquee names like the Joker, Catwoman, the Penguin and the Riddler.

"We will see how they get to become what they are as Gotham is teetering on the edge," Reilly told reporters during the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "It is an operatic soap that has a slightly larger-than-life quality."

McKenzie, who rose to fame on Fox's teen drama "The O.C.," is no stranger to DC Comics adaptations, having voiced the Dark Knight in Warner Bros. Animation's "Batman: Year One."

"Gotham" is just one of four DC-based pilots in development for the fall season, alongside "The Flash" and "iZombie" at The CW and "Constantine" at NBC.

Official Press Release

Ben McKenzie ("Southland," "The O.C.") has been cast in the lead role of Detective James Gordon in FOX and Warner Bros. Television's "Gotham," which has a series commitment at the network.

Based upon characters published by DC Comics, "Gotham" is a drama exploring the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon and the villains that made Gotham famous.

Bruno Heller ("The Mentalist," "Rome") wrote the pilot script and will serve as executive producer. Danny Cannon (the "CSI" series, "Nikita") will direct and executive produce the pilot.

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