I don’t know if you heard about this, but they’re starting production on a new live-action TV series, set in Gotham City before the emergence of Batman. The series will center on a young Jim Gordon as he rises through the ranks of the Gotham PD, and deals with the rising influence of an eccentric and dangerous new breed of criminal.
It sounds pretty good! You could really go a lot of ways with a show like this. You could do the police procedural angle, or the masked vigilante angle (Jim Gordon as Gotham’s first, unsung masked vigilante? Could happen!), or maybe even the Law & Order angle, where Jim Gordon busts the criminals while a sexy, sexy female DA handles the convictions.
Which is all great. But…
So not too many people have seen this, but there’s an official casting sheet for the show making the rounds. If you don’t know, a casting sheet is what gets sent to actors’ agencies; it gives a basic description of a show’s characters (both physical and personality-wise) so an agency can submit possible candidates.
The casting sheet for this Gotham PD show is… odd. Like this one:
Renee Montoya (age 16): Montoya is a tough kid from the streets. She doesn’t trust cops. She runs with a bad crowd but she’s got a good heart. If you look past the petty crimes and the don’t-care attitude, you can tell she’d be a natural cop. Medium height, Hispanic or “Hispanic-y”. Possibly Korean. Japanese ok, if she can pull off a Korean accent while speaking Spanish. Bonus if actor has only one arm, or is willing to have one arm removed. Parkour skills a plus.
That’s just… that’s just weird, right? Can you even call someone Hispanic-y? I’m not even sure I should be writing that word.
Anyway, it gets weirder. Here’s the write-up for Jim Gordon himself:
Jim Gordon (age 29): He’s only been on the force for a few years, but he’s already made a name for himself. The good cops love him and the crooked cops want him to have an “accident”. Very fit, but carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Good with a threat, his fists, or a gun, and knows when to use each. Dark hair. Note: Actor should be comfortable in full drag, as he will also be playing Jim Gordon’s twin sister, Ginny Gordon.
I seriously don’t ever remember Jim Gordon having a twin sister named Ginny. Is that a thing???
Okay, moving on to the villains.
Now, remember that this is supposed to take place in the days before Batman, but you can see from the casting sheet that some of Gotham’s most infamous criminals will be in place, in almost a larval state. You’ll probably recognize one of the names on the list:
Jack Napier (age 20): First thing first: Napier is just one of a dozen known aliases for this up-and-coming gangster. Slight of build, jittery; almost unable to sit still for extended periods. Highly unstable. Southern accent. Sassy. Very, very sassy. Extremely sassy. Seriously, we can’t overstate the sassy angle enough. He should be like Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women, only male and times a million.
Okay, that’s… something. This is obviously meant to be the Joker before he becomes the Joker. And I guess sassy could be one interpretation of the character. I guess.
All right. One more. This one is just, I dunno. Just read it:
Joey (age 22): Handsome. Macho. Smug. Lives across the hall from Jim Gordon. Wants to be an actor. Actually, wants to be Al Pacino. Loves women, sports, women, Gotham, women, and most of all Joey.
That’s just… that’s just like a word-for-word rip-off of Joey from Friends, right? I mean, that’s just blatant stealing. And it doesn’t even make sense! Does Jim Gordon has a ditsy blonde friend who thinks she’s psychic, too? Does he go around saying “Could there BE any more corruption on this police force?”
Like I said, the basic premise of this show sounds cool, but I am seriously worried after reading this casting sheet.
Here’s hoping they figure it out.