Batman TV Series ‘Gotham’ Commissions Its Gordon

Ben McKenzie, best known for roles on 'Southland' and 'The O.C.,' will play young James Gordon on Fox's comic book series.

Gary Oldman, eat your heart out: There’s a new Gordon in Gotham City, and he’s got some experience with both sides of the law.

TV Line reports that after weeks of speculation, Fox’s “Gotham” (the network’s planned Batman origin story ) has found an actor to play Detective James Gordon: Ben McKenzie, late of beach soap “The O.C.” and cop drama “Southland.” The series centers on Gordon’s early years patrolling the crime-ridden streets of Gotham City, with a secondary focus on young Bruce Wayne’s life after he witnesses the double-homicide of his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne.

McKenzie is a far cry from Donal Logue , the other actor who was widely rumored for the Gordon role. On the surface, McKenzie might not seem the right fit when thinking of the gravitas commonly associated with Gordon. But I submit that the man deserves a chance, for the following reasons:

1. He’s got the cop thing down. McKenzie starred as rookie officer Ben Sherman on five seasons of “Southland,” before the show’s cancellation in 2013. The actor already has experience working for the right side of the law, not to mention playing a cop that’s in over his head. Both of those skills will be important as he approaches Gordon.

2. He’s a sensitive soul, though he seems thick-skinned. For further proof, look no further than “The O.C.” He played Ryan Atwood, a street tough taken out of jail and into suburbia by way of the Cohens, one of modern television’s finest families. Ryan could issue a beat-down better than most, but he took his fair share of licks as well, revealing a softer side under his battle-hardened exterior. That same soulfulness will do quite well when applied to Gordon.

3. He’s a bit of a babe. That’s not a word commonly used to describe Gordon, but this is a story about the man in his youth, not in his mustache-grooming Oldman days. It doesn’t hurt to have a Gordon that’s easy on the eyes.

4. He’s good with kids. On “The O.C.,” McKenzie enjoyed some solid stories that saw him looking after down-and-out kids. That’s something we’ll likely see a lot of on “Gotham,” given the promise of young Bruce Wayne dealing with the aftermath of his mother and father’s grisly demise.

5. Most importantly, this isn’t his first time at the comic book rodeo. McKenzie voiced the Caped Crusader in the animated movie “Batman: Year One,” so he already has some Gotham City credibility to his name. Beyond that, who could ever forget Kid Chino and his fists of fury?

And now we wait for Fox to announce Adam Brody as the Joker …

What do you think of McKenzie as the new Detective Gordon?

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