Gotham Knights Showrunners Explain Why They Didn't Need To Be Sold On Misha Collins As Harvey Dent (And Supernatural Is Involved)

Misha Collins as Harvey Dent in Gotham Knights
(Image credit: The CW)

Spoilers ahead for the series premiere of Gotham Knights on The CW

Gotham Knights has finally premiered to deliver a new take on an iconic comic book location, as well as at least one character name that any Batman fan probably knows well. Supernatural alum Misha Collins plays none other than Harvey Dent for the new show. Although Harvey is still a standup district attorney in Gotham Knights at this point, the character is famous for his ultimate transformation into the villain Two-Face. Showrunners Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux opened up about why Collins was the right man for the job, and there are ties back to Supernatural

Misha Collins was one of the most recognizable actors on The CW for more than a decade when he played the angel Castiel on Supernatural. He’s actually the third of the major Supernatural stars to return to the network (with Jared Padalecki starring on Walker and Jensen Ackles producing/appearing in The Winchesters), and the Gotham Knights showrunners were already fans before he officially signed on to play the future Two-Face. 

Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux spoke with CinemaBlend at SCAD TVfest, and when discussing Harvey Dent, Stoteraux explained that the “trick” is trying to make a story feel “surprising, interesting and compelling” when “everyone knows that this character is gonna go through this transformation.” They had to find a way to make the story of Harvey Dent eventually becoming Two-Face fresh to Gotham Knights, and Fiveash explained the solution: 

Step one is cast Misha Collins.

Misha Collins proved that he can deliver in genre series after more than a decade on Supernatural, and James Stoteraux explained that Gotham Knights needed to cast “someone who had such innate goodness, and Misha Collins is just like the best guy ever.” Harvey Dent may be doomed to become a villain, but to start, the show needed – as Chad Fiveash noted – Collins as somebody who is “so un-Two-Face.” Stoteraux went on:

That was important to us because we wanted people to really see that side of the character before the villain story.

Fans of Supernatural certainly saw Misha Collins playing a good character, but Castiel didn’t go from Season 4 to Season 15 without some transformations, for better or worse. The Gotham Knights showrunners confirmed that they were both big fans of Supernatural back in its day, and that fact came up during the casting process. James Stoteraux explained: 

It's funny – when we met with him for the first time, it was just a really fun, great meeting. He was like, 'Oh, I'll show you this episode!' We're like, 'No, we've seen it.' So we did not need to be sold on Misha Collins at all.

They didn’t reveal what episodes Misha Collins specifically would have shown them, but given that he appeared in well over 100 of Supernatural’s 300+ episodes, there were a lot of options! Chad Fiveash went on to say that “what's great about him is he proceeded to try to sell us,” which the showrunners definitely didn't need. Stoteraux elaborated:

The meeting was us selling him. It was also fascinating. Like, there were elements of just his background that we weren't aware of, like [that] he was a White House intern, and that he'd originally started out with political aspirations. It makes sense when you hear that because [of] his activism and he has just such a drive for social justice… He was perfect for the political side of Harvey Dent. It was like, 'Oh, he totally gets this.' It was one of those meetings that you walked away from that meeting just being like, 'I hope he says yes!'

And Misha Collins certainly did say yes! The series premiere was enough to prove that wearing a suit and tie doesn't make Gotham Knights’ version of Harvey Dent into Castiel 2.0. Supernatural fans are seeing a different side of the actor, and it sounds like Gotham Knights viewers who never watched him as Cas will see him nailing the role of Gotham City’s most iconic district attorney. The showrunners made it clear that they had no regrets about Collins after casting him, as they only had great things to say. James Stoteraux raved:

And you know what? We just love him so much. He has also just been such a leader, and as a creative partner, not just as an actor. It's funny, he'll come to us with ideas that you listen to and are like, 'Okay, we're gonna have to give him credit for that because it's such a great idea.'

Stoteraux’s comments echo what Collins' Gotham Knights co-stars had to say about working with him, with Rahart Adams (who plays Brody March) praising him as a “legend” who’s “always looking out for us,” and Fallon Smythe (Harper Rowe) saying that he “really treats us all like just peers and coworkers and family.” Chad Fiveash went on to preview how much Collins has been involved in Harvey’s journey behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera: 

He's been super instrumental in the crafting of Harvey as a character, and honestly that character's journey. I don't know what we would do without him. [laughs]

Hopefully the show doesn’t have to worry about doing anything without him, but a lot may depend on how long it takes for Gotham Knights to begin Harvey’s transformation into Two-Face. Based on what the showrunners had to say about how Gotham Knights is handling superpowers, there may already be plans for how the series can keep telling stories beyond just the first season. Plus, James Stoteraux said:

He has a brilliant sense of the character, and what he wants to do. It's been a true collaboration. He'll call up and say 'I have this idea!' And we're like, 'It's going in! Let's do it.'

See more of Misha Collins with new episodes of Gotham Knights on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW, following new episodes of Superman & Lois Season 3. Superheroes are fewer and farther between on the network these days with the Arrowverse winding down, and Gotham Knights is finding ways to tell a story with Batman characters and settings without needing the Dark Knight (who might have been played by Jensen Ackles if scheduling had worked out) himself. 

You can also revisit Collins’ days as Supernatural's trenchcoat-wearing angel Castiel streaming with a Netflix subscription, and find some additional viewing options on our 2023 TV premiere schedule

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).