This Is What the Penguin and Alfred Pennyworth Will Look Like In That ‘Gotham’ TV Show
What would the Penguin was a young, skinny bro without a monocle? This guy, apparently; an actor called Robin Lord Taylor. Best known for appearances in After Earth and The Walking Dead, Taylor will portray a new and seemingly deadlier version of the famous villain in Gotham, the forthcoming Fox television series based on the DC Comics characters.
Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane in the 1940s, the Penguin — aka Oswald Cobblepot — is distinguished from other Batman villains in a number of ways. Most obviously, Oswald is a very unimposing figure, traditionally depicted as short, stout and extremely erudite, hence his being nicknamed after the regal aquatic bird. Additionally, he’s not really insane; at least not along the lines of the Joker and other famous Batman rogues, and unless you count a preoccupation with bird-themed crimes.
Gotham’s Penguin is obviously quite different physically, and has been described in press reports as possessing “the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a jackal.” The Penguin of the show is “a low-level psychopath for gangster Fish Mooney [a new character portrayed by Jada Pinkett Smith], and hides his sadistic lust for power behind an exquisitely polite demeanor.”
A decidedly darker interpretation than that of the comic books, but clearly a more photogenic one than Tim Burton and Danny DeVito’s cartoonishly grotesque take on the character in 1992’s Batman Returns, the last time we saw the Penguin performed in live-action.
The Gotham Twitter feed has also released is a photo of Sean Pertwee in costume as Alfred Pennyworth, the English butler who raises the young Bruce Wayne following the murder of his parents in the first episode of Gotham. The show’s version of Gotham sounds like it’s taking a cue from recent depictions of Alfred in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Warner Bros. Animation’s Beware the Batman and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Batman: Earth One graphic novel, with Pertwee’s Alfred described as “a tough-as-nails ex-MI6 agent from East London,” which is an image easy enough to map over “hard man” icon Michael Caine’s Alfred if he were a younger man and looked like Doctor Who.
Created by Bruno Heller (The Mentalist), Gotham also stars Ben McKenzie as Gordon, Zabryna Guevara as Captain Sarah Essen, Erin Richards as Barbara Kean, David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne and Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle.