'The Batman's' Jeffrey Wright Reveals Mayor Adams as Performance Muse

By Elliot Chen July 20, 2023

In the anticipated "The Batman," Jeffrey Wright dishes on drawing inspiration from Eric Adams for his character James Gordon, and his complex relationship with Batman in a tumultuous Gotham City.

In the forthcoming feature "The Batman," Jeffrey Wright found guidance for his performance in an unexpected source: a former standout law enforcement figure. Playing the role of James Gordon, Wright becomes the sole confidant of Batman in the disorderly Gotham City. Strikingly, he made connections between Gotham and real-life New York, drawing inspiration from the city's current mayor and past police captain, Eric Adams.

A remarkable advocate against police brutality, Adams became a seminal reference point for Wright's portrayal. From Wright's perspective, both he and his character were outliers who share similar dynamics with Adams. A new era in the DC Comics film series is set to be initiated with "The Batman," starring Robert Pattinson as the beloved hero for the first time.

"The Batman" unveils the preliminary phase of Bruce Wayne's budding partnership with Gordon, who interestingly is not the renowned commissioner but a mere police lieutenant. Wright, aged 56, underscored their alliance as a necessity born out of Gotham's dearth of trust. Amidst uncertainties, they join forces to salvage their city in a time of acute crisis.

The film, masterly directed by Matt Reeves, reveals the rise of a cryptic villain, the Riddler, who starts a campaign against the city's tainted politicians. Complex puzzles are left behind for Batman and Gordon to solve. Wright elaborated on Reeves' dedication to keeping the core of 'Batman' alive through a focus on narrative and mystery elements in the movie.

In preparation for the film, Wright examined multiple Batman comics, starting from the first issue, to follow his character's journey. Besides featuring Zoe Kravitz as the fearless Catwoman, Wright also stars in a leading role.

Previous roles of Wright include depicting Felix Leiter in the James Bond series and Bernard Lowe in HBO’s “Westworld.” Complementing Pattinson's innovative take on Batman, Wright hailed Pattinson's performance as a rejuvenation for the Dark Knight. He further expressed how Pattinson's portrayal illustrated a clear difference between Bruce Wayne and Batman.

Wright appreciated Pattinson's elegance and noticeable transformation in a particular funeral scene. Pattinson's Batman, he noted, was fierce yet grounded. Finally, Wright said Reeves aimed to make a great film that just happened to include Batman. Despite its comic origins and rapid narrative progression, the director strategically made room for exploring substantial themes, psychological and emotional factors, and timely social issues.