Ben McKenzie (Southland, The O.C.) has been cast in the lead role of Detective James Gordon in Fox and Warner Bros. Television's Gotham, which has a series commitment at the network.

Based upon characters published by DC Comics, Gotham is a drama exploring the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon and the villains that made Gotham famous. With stories taking place inside the world of Batman, the series will feature a younger version of Bruce Wayne, along with Riddler, Catwoman, the Joker and the Penguin.

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In Gotham, Gordon is an idealistic rookie detective for Gotham City Police Department's Homicide Squad, a former college football star and a war hero.

Bruno Heller (The Mentalist, Rome) wrote the pilot script and will serve as executive producer. Danny Cannon (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Nikita) will direct and executive produce the pilot.

Ben McKenzie has spent his entire television career with Warner Bros. TV, first being cast at 24-years-old on Fox's The O.C. He followed that up with 5 seasons on Warner Bros.' Southland, which began life on NBC before moving to TNT during Season 2. The actor signed a talent deal with the studio in October.