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Gotham has added Paul Reubens as Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot’s (Robin Lord Taylor) father, it was announced at New York Comic Con. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed Reubens will be a recurring guest star on the show’s sophomore season.
“Pee-wee Herman is playing my dad,” Taylor gushed while making the announcement. “What the hell?! Oh my God!”
Reubens has his own history with the Batman universe: He played Penguin’s father in the 1992 film Batman Returns.
The move comes as the series has turned its focus toward the villains in its second season, dubbed “Rise of the Villains.”
“We did a real soul-searching,” Gotham producer John Stephens said. In addition to moving away from the cases of the week in the sophomore season, the show raised the stakes by killing off a number of key characters in the first few weeks.
“At its core, we want the show to feel dangerous,” Stephens continued, though he noted it was possible to see Cameron Monaghan‘s recently deceased Jerome again. “When you’re dealing with an origin, the dangerous thing is the audience feels like they know where the story is going to go.”
To counteract the villains, Michael Chiklis will join the show in Monday’s episode as Captain Barnes.
“He’s a real wallflower,” Chiklis teased. “Barnes comes in as a countermeasure to the villainy that is running amok to Gotham. He serves as a mentor to [Jim] and he’s trying to pull him out of the muck, because he’s sliding down that slippery slope of the ends justifying the means.”
As Jim (Ben McKenzie) struggles with his morality, his portrayer acknowledged that the shades of gray have been enjoyable. “He’s learned the lay of the land, and now he’s going to put that into action … what he’s learned is sometimes you have to play a little fast and loose with the rules,” McKenzie said. “Now he has a new boss, and his boss wants to kick ass.”
And there’s the added complication of Jim’s ex-fiancee, Barbara (Erin Richards), who still seems determined to get her ex back. “There’s an attraction-repulsion that runs very, very deep,” McKenzie admitted.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox.
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