Gotham has cast another villain. This time it’s Drew Powell, who will be joining the cast of FOX’s Batman prequel as Butch Gilzean. The character of Gilzean is described by Deadline as “the deceptively clever and ambitious second-in-command to sadistic gangster boss Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith). Powell has recently worked with Gotham creator Bruno Heller on an episode of Heller’s The Mentalist.
I wonder if Gotham is going to have a kind of “passing of the torch” motif to it. With Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney and now Drew Powell’s Butch Gilzean, Gotham‘s established criminal element is going to be a little less flamboyant at the start than the baddies we’ll come to know and fear later in the show’s run. We already know that Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot is waiting in the wings, and they’ve also promised that we’ll eventually see other big name villains like the Joker, the Riddler, and Catwoman. So, between honest (but regular) cops like Gordon and Bullock and “ordinary” gangsters like Mooney and Gilzean, Gotham will almost certainly trace the city’s decline/transition from more traditional cops n’ robbers binaries into the supervillain/superhero dynamics we actually expect from the Batman universe.
As long as the show doesn’t succumb to “prequel-itis” and get too cute about telegraphing exactly where everyone is going to end up, Gotham should be a fun ride. The audience will buy the concept, so there’s no need to bash them over the head with it too much. All of these characters, whether they’re taken from the comics (or new ones, like Gilzean and Mooney), need to be able to stand on their own merits, not on their connection to Batman!
Powell joins a cast that includes Ben McKenzie as a young Jim Gordon, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot, Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock, and Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth. As Gotham has a straight to series order, it’s likely we’ll see it by September.