According to The Hollywood Reporter, Westworld star Jeffrey Wright is in talks to play Police Commissioner Jim Gordon in Matt Reeves’ upcoming film, The Batman. Robert Pattison has already been confirmed for the titular role, and casting Wright as Gordon, a vital member of the “Bat Family,” would be an inspired move. In previous iterations, Gordon has been played by some extremely talented actors, including Gary Oldman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and J.K. Simmons in Justice League. In fact, Simmons’ Gordon is arguably one of the most unfortunate casualties of the DC Extended Universe of films being rebooted following Justice League.
Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon is incredibly exciting on a variety of levels. First, it would add some much needed diversity into the Bat Family on film, and do so in a vital role. Like many iconic comic book franchises, much of the Batman world is made up of white characters. That’s very much a product of when Batman was created (1939) and who he was created by (Bill Finger and Bob Kane). The recent comics have made it a point to diversify the Bat Family with characters like Duke Thomas (The Signal) and Cassandra Cane (Orphan), but those additions typically don’t make it over to film adaptations. It’s also rare to see the race-bending of a core character like this. I’m sure detractors will complain about race-bending, but given that we’ve had decades and numerous versions of Commissioner Gordon as a white character, I think we can all survive a little change.
Second, Wright has shown on Westworld (among other projects) that he’s a fantastic actor who can handle complex roles. Wright’s performance as Bernard Lowe on Westworld is consistently excellent, and those who watch the show know how wonderfully complicated his character is. I don’t have the creativity to have envisioned Wright as Commissioner Gordon, but now that it’s in my head, I need to see it.
Wright seems to be all but confirming this report with the following epic tweet:
The Batman is scheduled to be released onJune 25, 2021.
It seems casting news on The Batman is coming fast and furious! Not to be outdone by THR, Variety came out with a report that Jonah Hill is also in talks to join The Batman, potentially as the Penguin. Admittedly this news doesn’t excite me quite as much. Primarily because I’ve never particularly enjoyed the Penguin as a character. He’s more annoying than anything else. I get that he’s one of the oldest members of Batman’s rogue’s gallery, but let’s be honest, there’s only so much the Penguin can do against Batman. Here’s hoping the Penguin isn’t the primary villain of the film. More undoubtedly coming!
Collider is reporting that Hill may be playing the Riddler. I would find that infinitely more interesting. In contrast to the Penguin, I think the Riddler has quite a bit of potential for more exciting interpretations. Scott Snyder’s version of the Riddler in his Zero Year arc was a great re-imagining of the character, and I’d definitely love to see the character on film as a type of criminal mastermind, as opposed to a goofy jester in a green suit.
Jonah Hill eyed to play a villain in 'The Batman' opposite Robert Pattinson, and we hear he may be playing The Riddler. https://t.co/bw07rcEvB1
— Collider (@Collider) September 23, 2019
Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture. He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.