As far as Gotham is concerned, Ra’s al Ghul is He Who Shall Not Be Named. Executive producer Danny Cannon was able to tease the character at WonderCon, but as members of the cast gathered in March at New York’s Whitby Hotel to wine and dine (but mostly wine) with press, no amount of vodka sodas would loosen their tongues for very long.
We already know that actor Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones) will join the likes of Liam Neeson (Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins) and Matt Nable (The CW’s Arrow) in portraying Ra’s. But at the event’s press conference that followed an advanced screening of the next episode, reporters avoided the topic even though the last shot of “How the Riddler Got His Name” pointed to his introduction.
As I spoke with Camren Bicondova during the cocktail reception, the Catwoman actress confessed she had “no idea” what his presence will mean for the show, nor did she recall seeing the name in the scripts. Maggie Geha would only say her character, Ivy, doesn’t know the name Ra’s al Ghul — “at least not yet” — while Erin Richards (Barbara Kean) said she wasn’t at liberty to reveal anything at all. However, Robin Lord Taylor (Penguin) was slightly more forthcoming:
My character does not know who Ra’s Al Ghul is. My character, you know, is — yeah, it’s one of those things where it’s like there’s an element that’s coming in that will sweep us all up…I have an issue with Nygma that’s gonna tie me into his story which is going to pull me into Barbara’s story which is then also part of Jim’s story and, you know, it’s coming into the vortex. I don’t know how much I can say.
When I asked if Ra’s has something to do with what Ben McKenzie (Jim Gordon) said during the press conference about all the characters forced to unite over a looming event, Taylor teased, “You’re sort of on the right track.”
Ra’s al Ghul aside, there was much to discuss of Gotham’s return.