Jeffrey Wright: Jim Gordon is 'a foil for the decay of Gotham' in The Batman (exclusive)

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Watch: Jeffrey Wright says The Batman goes back to character's roots

Jeffrey Wright says The Batman goes "back to the core" of the character and embraces his status in the comics as the "world's greatest detective".

The star portrays Jim Gordon — Batman's ally within the Gotham police department — in the movie (in IMAX and cinemas from 4 March, with IMAX previews from 3 March) which takes place before the character has ascended to the rank of commissioner.

Director Matt Reeves' film follows Batman and Gordon's joint efforts to track down Paul Dano's Riddler, who is murdering senior Gotham figures at the heart of a wide-ranging conspiracy.

Read more: Colin Farrell says DeVito gave him Penguin green light

"I think fans too will appreciate that we're going back to the core of Batman and the comics, which is Batman as World's Greatest Detective," Wright told Yahoo Entertainment UK.

Jeffrey Wright plays Jim Gordon alongside Robert Pattinson's title character in 'The Batman'. (Jonathan Olley/DC Comics/Warner Bros)
Jeffrey Wright plays Jim Gordon alongside Robert Pattinson's title character in 'The Batman'. (Jonathan Olley/DC Comics/Warner Bros)

He added: "When you do that, it activates this partnership with Gordon and the Batman in a way that maybe we haven't delved into before in previous versions of these films.

"But for me, it was really exciting. It activated the character and really put him at the centre of things.

"Instead of him being behind a desk somewhere admiring Batman from afar and maybe answering the Batphone occasionally, it puts him on the street and in the muck.

"I think it makes Gordon more vulnerable and, in some ways, kind of a foil for the decay of Gotham. We really feel his desperation and the desperation of the place as a result of him being in the middle of things."

'The Batman' sees the Caped Crusader embrace his moniker as the 'world's greatest detective'. (Jonathan Olley/DC Comics/Warner Bros)
'The Batman' sees the Caped Crusader embrace his moniker as the 'world's greatest detective'. (Jonathan Olley/DC Comics/Warner Bros)

Wright said he hopes that this movie is a success and is able to spawn a franchise for these incarnations of the characters.

He noted that both he and Reeves are huge fans of the comics, with Wright stating he delved deeply into the entire written history of Batman while preparing to play Gordon.

Read more: Paul Dano reveals Riddler inspirations and costume process

"There's some wonderful explorations in some of the more contemporary comics of Gordon's life. I think they're very rich territory," he said.

Wright added: "I love the idea of Gordon as a public presence, but also with a private life that may vary from how he hopes to be perceived and is perceived in the public.

'The Batman' finds the title character at odds with some in the Gotham City Police Department. (Jonathan Olley/DC Comics/Warner Bros)
'The Batman' finds the title character at odds with some in the Gotham City Police Department. (Jonathan Olley/DC Comics/Warner Bros)

"The pressures of Gotham and the pressures of being on an island surrounded by corruption and all of the trauma that exists in the city. How that affects someone, particularly a cop.

"I think that's rich territory and certainly reflective of real experiences that folks who put themselves in those situations face."

Read more: Pattinson admits he is "terrified" to release The Batman

Reeves' take on the Batman universe is already due to expand with an announced television series for HBO Max which will focus on the inner workings of the Gotham City Police Department.

The Batman is in IMAX and cinemas from 4 March, with IMAX previews from 3 March.

Watch: Trailer for The Batman

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