Seventeen years after the start of the Dark Knight franchise, Gary Oldman’s iconic role as Jim Gordon still remains one of his best and most memorable. As the Gotham City police commissioner and Batman’s right-hand man, the character of Jim Gordon was portrayed by Oldman in all the films from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, including Batman: The Beginning, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Although it is difficult to imagine him in any other role now, Oldman played almost a completely different character in the Dark Knight films due to the fact that in the past he was a typical villain.
The story of Jim Gordon in Batman, originating from the comics, has been told many times. In Batman Begins, Gordon is on duty on the night of the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents and comforts young Bruce, laying the foundation for their future friendship. Even before Bruce becomes Batman, he thinks of Jim Gordon as one of Gotham’s only honest cops and recognizes Gordon’s virtuous character.
Their relationship and mutual respect are preserved throughout the following films “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises”, where Jim Gordon is in many ways the same hero as Batman himself. However, Oldman wasn’t always going to play Gordon. He was originally cast as a baggy masked villain wielding chemicals, the Scarecrow (later played by Cillian Murphy).
Dubbed “Scary Gary” by Harrison Ford after a long history of playing bad guys, Gary Oldman has spent most of his career as a villain. In an interview (via BBC Radio 1), Oldman says: “I think the villain really came about because of the work I did with Besson.” He is referring to director Luc Besson, with whom Oldman directed several of his early successful films, such as 1994’s “Leon: The Professional” and two 1997 films, “Zero in the Mouth” and “The Fifth Element.” However, even before working with Besson, Oldman played notorious villains such as Lee Harvey Oswald in John F. Kennedy. Kennedy”, Dracula in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and Drexle Spivey in Tarantino’s “True Romance”.
It was only when producer Douglas Urbanski (whose career with Oldman began with the film “Mad Possibilities” in 1996) did not offer Nolan to change clothes, Oldman entered the role of Jim Gordon from the Dark Knight trilogy. Reflecting on the role in his interview, Oldman describes Gordon as “incorruptible” and “straight as an arrow,” qualities that, according to the actor, made the role of Gordon “quite difficult.” Oldman continues: “This is what appears, and Batman has already got to it first. You’re a detective, but you really don’t have the opportunity to do any investigation because Batman did everything for you.” an integral part of the character of the hero, and Gordon is everything that Batman stands for, and Batman is everything that Gordon hopes for.