When you think of Gotham City, there are two constants: Batman and Commissioner Gordon. Almost every incarnation of The Dark Knight, or his city, has also included Gordon—the only good cop in the GCPD. His story is just as intriguing and deep as Batman’s is, if not more so. What makes the Caped Crusader great is that he doesn’t have any superpowers. He’s just a person trying to bring justice to a city full of crime. He’s relatable. Wouldn’t that make Gordon even more relatable? Batman wears a mask and in the real world, that doesn’t happen. However, we have seen police corruption in the real world. We have seen cops stand up to that corruption. James Gordon, in a city full of costumes, is the most real thing to come from it.
We have seen several incarnations over the years. On TV, we’ve seen Neil Hamilton, whom also reprised his role for Batman: The Movie, in the 1960s Batman series and, most recently, Ben McKenzie on Gotham. There have been many voice actors to take on the role for animated projects, with Bob Hastings taking on the role in the popular 1990s Batman: The Animated Series. On film, Pat Hingle was the first to portray Commissioner Gordon in a live-action film since Hamilton in 1989’s Batman. He would appear in all four of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher films before Christopher Nolan rebooted the series in 2005. Under Nolan’s leadership, Gary Oldman took on the role of Gordon. In the new DC Extended Universe, J.K. Simmons has been cast.
James Gordon, as portrayed by Simmons, will make his DCEU debut in this falls Justice League. In an interview with Red Carpet News TV, Simmons indicated that his role in the film would be a brief introduction to the character: “Commissioner Gordon, my incarnation of Commissioner Gordon, in the first Justice League movie, of what we hope will be a handful, is kind of a blink or you’ll miss it introduction of the character.”
Fans of Gotham’s commissioner may be disappointed by the lack of Gordon in the film, but he recently contributed more dialogue for the film in ADR last week: “As a matter of fact, I was doing ADR last week, additional dialogue recording last week, so they’re still putting the finishing touches on it. But I’m really, really, excited to see it and to be a part of the DC Universe which is a little grittier.”
Simmons was quick to add that Justice League has “a fair amount of levity,” too. Fans of the actor know that the Oscar winning actor portrayed J. Jonah Jameson, with perfection, in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. The brief images we’ve seen of Simmons as Gordon looks like his portrayal of Gotham’s Commissioner will be just as perfect.
Justice League opens in theaters November 17, 2017 and will give us our first glimpse of the new Commissioner Gordon in the DCEU.