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Jeffrey Wright in Westworld

Ever since Matt Reeves’ boarded The Batman, it’s become increasingly clearer that rather than be set in the DC Extended Universe continuity and look back on the earlier years of Ben Affleck’s iteration of the Caped Crusader, it would be a standalone tale. Well, that point has pretty much been hammered home, as rather than J.K. Simmons returning to play Commissioner James Gordon, Westworld star Jeffrey Wright is being looked at to take over the role.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jeffrey Wright is in negotiations to play James Gordon in The Batman, although it’s unclear in this movie if the character is already a commissioner or if he’s lower down in the Gotham City Police Department hierarchy. In any case, this is arguably the biggest casting update we’ve gotten concerning The Batman ever since Robert Pattinson was confirmed to play the eponymous character.

Assuming a deal is reached, this won’t be Jeffrey Wright’s first foray into the world of comic book adaptations. He’s also voicing Uatu the Watcher in the upcoming Disney+ animated series What If…?, which will explore what would happen if major events in the MCU unfolded differently.

In addition with currently starring as Bernard Lowe in Westworld, Jeffrey Wright’s notable credits include playing Valentin Narcisse in the fellow HBO series Boardwalk Empire, Felix Leiter in the Daniel Craig-led James Bond film series and Beetee in the Hunger Games movies. He’ll also be one of the voices on Netflix’s animated Green Eggs and Ham series.

As mentioned earlier, Jeffrey Wright would inherit the James Gordon mantle from J.K. Simmons, who played the character in Justice League and probably would have kept playing him had the Ben Affleck version of The Batman moved forward. Gordon was also recently portrayed in live action by Ben McKenzie on the Fox series Gotham, which concluded back in April.

While it’s not an origin story, Robert Pattinson’s Batman will still be relatively early into his crimefighting career during the movie. As such, it’s possible that Jeffrey Wright’s James Gordon is still a detective at this point, or perhaps has made it to the rank of lieutenant or captain, similar to Gary Oldman’s Gordon in the Dark Knight trilogy. So while he would still be in a position to help Batman out, he wouldn’t be the one calling the law enforcement shots across all of Gotham City.

No official plot details for The Batman have come out, but Matt Reeves has said it will be a noir-drive story that highlights Bruce Wayne’s detective skills. Whatever crime Batman has to solve, he’ll reportedly cross paths with numerous villains along the way, including Penguin, Catwoman, Riddler, Mad Hatter, Two-Face and Firefly.

The Batman swoops into theaters on June 25, 2021, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on how its coming along. For now, head to our handy guide to learn what other DC movies are in development.

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