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Ben McKenzie returns to FOX -- and comes to 'Gotham' as Jim Gordon

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Ben McKenzie is walking the beat once more -- back to FOX --, as the actor has been cast for the covet role of James Gordon in the anticipated Gotham, TVGuide.com and Deadline confirmed.

McKenzie, who spent five seasons on the acclaimed cop drama Southland, was once hailed as the next Jason Priestley and/or Luke Perry a decade ago when he burst once the scene as brooding bad boy gone good Ryan Atwood on The O.C., FOX's successor to Beverly Hills, 90210.

Gotham is the prequel that follows James "Jim" Gordon's years as a detective who will become Gotham City's police commissioner and ally/friend to the Batman, the future superhero alter-ego of Bruce Wayne, the billionaire who will dedicate his life to fighting the criminals and corrupt as the brooding Dark Knight Detective after witnessing the murder of his parents as a child.

Gary Oldman was the last actor to play Gordon in The Dark Knight trilogy from Jonathan and Christopher Nolan, with Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne.

Here's some Batman trivia for you: McKenzie provided the voice of Batman in the DVD Batman: Year One, which also followed the crime-fighting beginnings of both the Caped Crusader and Gordon (Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston).

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