It looks like Robert Pattinson’s Batman may have found his Commissioner Gordon, as Westworld star Jeffrey Wright is in negotiations to take on the classic character. Gordon has previously been portrayed on screen by Pat Hingle, Gary Oldman, and J.K. Simmons. Word has been that The Batman could take place much earlier in the Dark Knight’s career; so we could see Gordon’s growth and promotion from Detective to Commissioner. This was the route of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy; and Wright is only slightly older than Oldman was when he played the character in Batman Begins.
It is a disappointment that a talent like J.K. Simmons never got a chance to flesh out the role for himself. Without Ben Affleck as Batman, though, it wouldn’t make sense to try and retain that continuity. Warner Bros. has been pulling back on the world-building of the DCEU and it seems more and more likely that this project will not be connected. But if the early reviews for Joker are of any indication, it may be for the best.
Writer/Director Matt Reeves has described his vision of this story as fitting into the “noir” genre. That lends itself perfectly to explore Batman’s detective tactics. With Gordon being the more traditional detective role, it will be interesting how deeply he delves into the criminal investigations.
If this new film does take place in the early years of Batman, we can expect the commissioner to be wary of the vigilante, at least to start. This could provide some great material for the dynamic between the two characters. They could work independently, begin to trust one another, and finally combine their discovered clues to solve the mystery. Wright is an undeniable talent (Casino Royale, Westworld) and this classic role is another ripe opportunity to showcase it.