‘Gotham’ Star Ben McKenzie Says ‘This Is Not A Batman-From-The-’50s Kind Of Show’
Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller already sat under Entertainment Weekly‘s spotlight to talk about the new Fox series, and now it’s series star Ben McKenzie’s turn.
McKenzie will play a young James Gordon on the show (which the producers have promised will not be about Batman, even though there’s a preteen Bruce Wayne running around). He told EW pretty unequivocally that the show will be a darker take, with plenty of moral gray areas, in case you were wondering whether it would be like every other Batman media property of the past 30 years or so. Here are some highlights from his interview.
On the feel of the series: “This is not a Batman-from-the-’50s kind of show, with moral duality in black and white. In this world, everybody lives in the grey. Everybody is on the take. Everybody is compromised. There is no way [Gordon will] emerge unscathed from that.”
On this version of Gordon: “Gordon couldn’t be more human. In a DC universe where all of these characters are human, he is Exhibit A in being a simple, flawed human being. He’s strong and smart and tough, but he’s going to make wrong decisions and trust the wrong people. And he has no out — he can’t put on a cape and fly off.”
On what makes Gordon interesting: “He’s a truly honest man. The last honest man in a city full of crooked people. It’s very tricky nowadays to play a true, honest-to-goodness hero.”
On how he prepared for the show: “[DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns] gave me Gotham Central … and said two things: The origin story of Gordon hasn’t been fully explored before. As central as he is, Gordon has never been the focus. And second, you can’t worry about that. ‘We hired you to play you and to make this character fresh.’ And he said it without provocation.”
On the difficulties of shooting under the series’ design constraints: “If a Toyota Corolla drives by in the background, it doesn’t make any difference what you’re doing performance-wise — it’s not usable.”
Gotham premieres this fall on Fox. For more from McKenzie’s interview, head over to EW.com.