GOTHAM’s Early Screening Reactions Very Positive, Plus Comments on the Production from Ben McKenzie

     June 13, 2014


Fox’s Batman-less series Gotham won’t debut on our TV screens until some time this fall, but a lucky few were recently granted an early screening opportunity.  Reactions have been very positive so far, ranging from good to gorgeous to fantastic to top-of-the-list.  While that’s certainly good news, we’ve also got some comments from star Ben McKenzie that peek behind the scenes of the series production.

If you’re not familiar with Gotham just yet, get caught up with our coverage here: the trailers, interviews with Bruno Heller and Kevin Reilly, and images of the cast.  Hit the jump to see what McKenzie had to say, and reactions to the show’s early screening.

gotham-ben-mckenzieFirst up from EW is a bit of background info from McKenzie regarding the production of Gotham.  Be sure to head over there for the full interview, which we’ve sampled for you below, starting with how he got involved in the first place:

McKenzie: It was one of those things. And I had heard this was coming down the pipe, and Bruno sent me the script early and said he wrote this part with me in mind — which is incredibly flattering. We just started the discussions from there, and it has all come together in an amazing way. To be written for by a fantastic writer and to start from a place of knowing and liking each other — it’s a beautiful way of jumping off.

What excites you about the character?
McKenzie: He’s a truly honest man. The last honest man in a city full of crooked people. It’s very tricky nowadays to play a true, honest-to-goodness hero. Everybody is so cynical of people’s intentions. What’s interesting about him is he comes into this city that he hasn’t lived in for two decades, since he was a kid, and has fresh eyes to a world he doesn’t actually know. He thinks he knows it, and his journey will be to figure out how to make it better both for Gotham and himself without completely [losing] the moral standing that he has. He’s not an anti-hero, he’s a true hero — but he will have to compromise.

gotham-ben-mckenzie-robin-lord-taylorHe goes on to talk about Gordon’s changing ideals throughout the series, since he’s living in a morally ambiguous world in which even his allies are at least a little bit dirty.  McKenzie doesn’t exactly address the big bat in the room, which is the intentional lack of a Batman in the series, but does talk about the caped crusader:

How familiar were you with the Batman universe before this?
McKenzie: I’m a big fan of Batman. I can’t claim I grew up reading a lot of comics — weirdly the one I remember is Iron Man. I would watch repeats of the cheesy biff-pow-bang show, the Adam West version, in the afternoons in Texas. As I grew older, [the depictions of Batman] grew more sophisticated, and I loved the [Christopher] Nolan films. The thing that I think is universally relateable about Batman is he’s not a superhero. He has no special powers. He’s simply a man who’s experienced this extreme trauma, and has access to all sort of gadgets and weaponry that a wealthy person could have, and has an emotional need for justice. As an actor, I’m much more interested in people. When they have superpowers, it’s not that I don’t find them enjoyable, it’s just that….

You feel detached.
McKenzie: I feel a little detached.

Be sure to head over to EW for more with McKenzie.  If you’re still not convinved that Gotham should at least be on your watchlist this fall, maybe these early reactions will convince you.  Here’s a sample of some Twitter responses to the Gotham screening: