Warning: This article may contain spoilers for Gotham.
Fox’s Gotham has a reputation for recreating classic Batman villains to fit within the origins theme they have established in their prequel series, even going so far as instantly maturing Poison Ivy in order to give her a more adult-themed story arc. Poison Ivy isn’t the only character to undergo changes in being adapted from comic book to television series, as virtually every character has been modified for dramatic effect on Gotham. Now, as news of a new Ra’s al Ghul story arc has been revealed, Gotham fans are curious to know how the Fox series’ Ra’s al Ghul will differ from the same character portrayed in comic books, films, and The CW network’s own version on Arrow.
Gotham Casts A Familiar Face To Bring Ra’s Al Ghul To Life
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Reports from Variety reveal that Alexander Siddig, who is a fan favorite actor for his roles on Game of Thrones and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, will be playing Gotham‘s version of Ra’s al Ghul. The character is as much a part of the Batman comic book universe as Penguin or Catwoman, and for fans of the comics, may be even more well known than some of the villains made famous through television and film adaptations.
Ra’s al Ghul is the leader of the infamous League of Shadows, and as Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) is about to learn on Gotham, the secret power behind the Court of Owls.
Throughout the previous two seasons of Gotham, Bruce Wayne has grown from a naive boy into a suspicious and inquisitive teen, determined to find the masterminds behind his parents’ murders. As such the future Batman has already made some powerful enemies and has even been compelled by the Court of Owls to cease his investigations — a deal he has already broken.
Even considering the Owl feathers Bruce has already ruffled, none of that compares to what will happen when Ra’s al Ghul finally shows his face in Gotham. Alexander Siddig’s character is expected to be Bruce Wayne’s fiercest enemy yet, and may be more than the teen billionaire can handle.
How Will Gotham‘s Ra’s Al Ghul Differ From The Character Introduced On Arrow?
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The Hollywood Reporter shares that Siddig will appear as Ra’s al Ghul for the first time on Gotham later this season, when Bruce digs deeper into the Court of Owls hierarchy and discovers the enigmatic mastermind. Ra’s al Ghul has previously been seen on The CW’s Arrow, but, considering that Arrow and Gotham don’t exist within the same universe, it’s possible for Gotham to create the character in whatever image they choose. This is most evident in their casting Alexander Siddig, as opposed to bringing in Arrow‘s Matt Nable to reprise the character.
A change in actors may be the least of the differences between the two versions of Ra’s al Ghul, even though little is known about what Gotham may have planned for their version of the League of Shadows villain.
On Arrow, Ra’s al Ghul wasn’t entirely evil, and in fact, he may not even have seen himself as a villain, because he was essentially trying to fix humanity. First, Ra’s al Ghul was potrayed as having raised two daughters, Nyssa (Katrina Law) and Talia (Lexa Doig), suggesting the Arrow character had the capacity to show love and compassion. He also showed mercy to Damien Dahrk (Neil McDonough), even after he had been ordered to kill him.
Will Gotham create a similar character, making Ra’s al Ghul capable of acts of love and mercy? It’s unknown, but given Gotham‘s track record with such characters as Mr. Freeze, The Mad Hatter, and even with Nygma, it seems likely that such empathy may only pave the way for greater acts of evil. One can predict that this story arc will not end well.
Season 3 of Gotham returns on Monday, April 24, on Fox.
[Featured Image by Charley Gallay/Getty Images]