Benjamin McKenzie

Benjamin McKenzie is returning to the network that made him famous.

The O.C. alum has been tapped to play eventual Batman ally James Gordon in the new Gotham pilot, TVGuide.com has learned.

The drama, which has a series commitment at Fox, explores the origin stories of the man who would go on to be Gotham's future commissioner and his battle with the villains who made the city famous. In the project, Gordon is a former war hero-turned-detective with the Gotham City Police Department. Driven to live up to the virtues of a father he barely knew, the brave and honest detective backs up his naïve ideals with action.

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Since his days on The O.C., McKenzie has starred on Southland before being cast on The Advocates, last year's failed CBS drama pilot from Mentalist creator Bruno Heller. Heller will write and executive-produce Gotham with Nikita's Danny Cannon. Coincidentally, McKenzie voiced Batman in the DC original animated movie Batman: Year One, also a Batman origin story.

Gordon, who was initially introduced by DC Comics in 1939, was most recently played by Gary Oldman in the Dark Knight trilogy.

What do you think of McKenzie's casting?