‘Gotham’: Jada Pinkett Smith cast as new villain in Batman series

Feb. 19, 2014 | 12:10 p.m.

Several actors have been cast in the upcoming Fox series "Gotham." Click through the gallery for a look at some of the actors who will populate Batman's hometown. (Los Angeles Times; NBC; Tribeca Film)

Ben McKenzie has been cast as Jim Gordon in "Gotham." Above, he is shown as Ben Sherman in "Southland." (NBC)

David Mazouz, right, has been cast as young Bruce Wayne, the orphan who eventually becomes Batman, in "Gotham." Above, he is shown with Kiefer Sutherland and Gugu Mbatha–Raw in "Touch." (Kelsey McNeal / Fox)

Donal Logue, right, has been cast as Det. Harvey Bullock, Jim Gordon's partner and mentor, in "Gotham." Above, he is shown with Michael Raymond–James "Terriers." (Patrick McElhenney / FX)

Jada Pinkett Smith, right, has been cast as Fish Mooney, a sadistic crime boss in "Gotham." Above, she is shown with Julian Armenante in the TV series "HawthoRNe." (TNT)

Sean Pertwee, left, has been cast as Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne family's loyal butler, in "Gotham." Above, he is shown with Jonny Lee Miller in the TV series "Elementary." ( Joss Barratt / CBS)

Zabryna Guevara, left, has been cast as Capt. Essen, Jim Gordon’s boss at the Gotham City Police Department homicide squad, in "Gotham." Above, she is shown with Ken Barnett in a photo call for the play "Burn This" at the Mark Taper Forum in 2011. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Erin Richards, right, has been cast as Barbara Kean, an emergency room doctor and Jim Gordon’s fiancée in "Gotham." Above, she is shown with Sharlto Copley in the movie "Open Grave." (Vermes Kata / Tribeca Film)

Camren Bicondova has been cast as young Selina Kyle, the girl who eventually becomes Catwoman, in "Gotham." (Fox / Warner Bros.)

The cast of “Gotham” is coming together, with Jada Pinkett Smith the most recent addition to Fox’s upcoming Batman series.

The one-hour drama, from Warner Bros. Television, focuses on the origins of Batman’s police department ally, Commissioner James Gordon, and the villains who made Batman’s hometown famous.

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith in 2009. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith in 2009. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Pinkett Smith will play Fish Mooney — an original character you won’t find in the comics. Fish Mooney is described as “a sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner” and will be a series regular.

“Fish Mooney’s got the street smarts and almost extra-sensory abilities to read people like an open book,” her official character description reads. “Imposing and hotheaded, she’s not one to be crossed.”

Pinkett Smith joins a cast that includes Ben McKenzie, known for roles in “Southland” and “The O.C.,” as Jim Gordon; Robin Lord Taylor (“Another Earth,” “Accepted”) as Oswald Cobblepot, the orphaned outcast who works for Fish Mooney and eventually becomes the gentleman villain the Penguin; Sean Pertwee (“Alan Partridge,” “Event Horizon”) as tough ex-marine and Wayne Manor butler Alfred Pennyworth; Zabryna Guevara (“Burn Notice,” “3 lbs.”) as Capt. Essen, Gordon’s boss at the Gotham City Police Department homicide squad; Erin Richards as Gordon’s fiancée Barbara Kean, an emergency room doctor; and Donal Logue (“Sons of Anarchy”) as Gordon’s partner and mentor Det. Harvey Bullock.

“Gotham” will be led by writer and executive producer Bruno Heller, the creative mind behind “The Mentalist” and “Rome.” Danny Cannon (“Nikita”) will direct and executive produce the pilot.

Click through the gallery above for a look at some of the “Gotham” stars. What do you think of the casting? Let us know in the comments.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+


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5 Responses to ‘Gotham’: Jada Pinkett Smith cast as new villain in Batman series

  1. Ridiculous says:

    Yeah, Great, Because that's what Batman Needs, is another villain who is NOT and never has been in the comics. Because it has worked so well in the past when villains are created by the studio suits. Rather than pull a villain from the WEALTH of material from the Decades of Comics. Just another Stinking Dawson's Creek reboot for the CW.

  2. @PBlake2 says:

    Yet another reason I will NOT be partaking of this poorly developed prequel. This woman can not act, she over acts and were it not for her husband, probably wouldn't get any work worth mentioning.

  3. nickpattersonfreelance says:

    I have no problem with the casting, but the direction of the show – Sarah Essen as Gordon's boss? Bullock as his mentor? What bizarre and unnecessary changes to the characters. And Fish Mooney? Come on, what a ridiculous moniker.

    Making up characters that are not in the established canon can work. Renee Montoya worked. And for all the flaws of "Smallville," Chloe Sullivan sorta worked. So it's possible.

    On the other hand, messing with Gotham continuity to this degree has a history of NOT working. Remember "Birds of Prey?" Hate to say it, but "Gotham" has the stink of doom about it.

  4. jrm says:

    This series makes sense, people need take their nose out the comic books and think more along the lines of Batman Begins, what did Bruce Wayne encounter messing with Gotham, organized crime. The super villains came later. Done well, this series could slot in nicely before the Nolan Batman series.

  5. J42 says:

    This cast and angle is exciting – especially Smith as a sadistic gangster. Batman Begins succeeded with virtually unknown nemeses and realism, and after so many incarnations of certain bat villains, some originality is welcome.

    And it's nice that the cast would actually resemble a real American city as opposed to much of modern TV or the DC universe.

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