In the first season of Gotham, executive producer Bruno Heller and his team showed us the tragedy of Jonathan Crane, the young boy who would become the Batman supervillain Scarecrow. Now, in its fourth season, Gotham is finally ready to show us what Crane grew up to be. Charlie Tahan, who played Crane in the two season one episodes the character appeared in, is returning to the role.
At 19 years old, Tahan has already put together an impressive acting career. In addition to Gotham, he also stars on Netflix’s Ozark and starred in Fox’s limited series Wayward Pines.
You can follow Tahan on Twitter.
Here’s a look at the Scarecrow and the actor behind the mask.
1. Scarecrow Will Make ‘Gotham’ Feel Like a Horror Movie With His Return
Jonathan Crane was last seen crippled by fear after his father’s own research with fear toxins went awry. Jonathan was seen in the episodes “The Fearsome Dr. Crane” and “The Scarecrow,” before he vanished.
Now, at the start of season four, Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) fears that Jonathan is back, and he’s not going to be happy. During an interview with CinemaBlend at San Diego Comic-Con, executive producer John Stephens explained how Jonathan will come back as Scarecrow.
“At the very beginning of the season, Penguin has solidified his control upon Gotham like never before. Where he’s kind of unionized crime. And Scarecrow comes in to basically reintroduce fear into Gotham and to remind people that the dark is still scary out there,” Stephens explained. “And we’re really going to fashion, especially Episode 2, almost a horror movie episode where we really get to see Scarecrow. I think he’s like purely terrifying. Imagine, rather than the other versions of Scarecrow out there — because there are a lot of different versions — what if you just really tell Scarecrow as a horror movie? Because he could be scary as hell.”
During the SDCC panel itself, actor Ben McKenzie, who plays Gordon, said Jonathan is willing to pick up where his father left off and becomes the Scarecrow.
“It’s great,” McKenzie said. “We’re able to use this sort of fear toxin that Scarecrow is able to summon. We’re completely unafraid—or perhaps afraid but we still persist–in expanding the universe and our capabilities.”
2. Scarecrow Is Among Batman’s Oldest Villains & Was Used in the ‘Dark Knight’ Films
Scarecrow is among the oldest villains in Batman’s rogues gallery. He was first introduced in a 1941 story in World’s Finest #3 by Batman’s original creators, Bob Kane and Bill Finger. This original version of Jonathan Crane was a professor obsessed with rare books who decided to strike fear into others by becoming a Scarecrow.
Later incarnations of the character introduced the use of fear toxin, which makes Scarecrow’s victims see their worst fears play out in front of them. As a youngster, Crane was obsessed with fear and he became a psychologist before turning to crime.
Scarecrow has been seen in various other forms of media, from Batman: The Animated Series to the video game series Batman: Arkham. Although the character was not used in the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher movies, he became a big part of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight franchise. Played by Cillian Murphy, he appeared in Batman Begins and had a cameo appearance in The Dark Knight. (Murphy later worked with Nolan again on Dunkirk.)
3. Tahan Also Stars in Netflix’s ‘Ozark’
Tahan hasn’t been sitting around years waiting for the call to return to Gotham without working. Since his first appearance on the show in 2015, he’s been on Wayward Pines and appeared in the films Wiener-Dog, Super Dark Times and made the upcoming movie The Land of Steady Habits.
Tahan also appeared in Ozark, a Netflix drama starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. The series, created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams, centers on a Chicago financial advisor who moves his family to Missouri after a money laundering scheme involving a Mexican drug lord falls apart. The show has been picked up for a second season.
In the series, Tahan had a recurring part as Wyatt Langmore, the son of Russ Langmore (Marc Menchaca) and Ruth’s cousin. Ruth (Julia Garner) is part of the money laundering scheme.
4. He Voiced Victor Frankenstein in Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’
Tahan also had a rather spooky role when he was 14 years old. Two years after appearing in Charlie St. Cloud with Zac Efron, he voiced Victor Frankenstein in Tim Burton’s animated movie Frankenweenie.
“It was a lot of fun, especially because I didn’t have to go through wardrobe and hair and make up and stuff,” he told Just Jared in 2012 when asked what it was like to work on an animated movie. “I showed up in my pajamas a few times.”
When asked what his favorite Burton movies are, Tahan said he loves Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Sleepy Hollow, Betlejuice and Corpse Bride. He also said he was obsessed with the Burton-produced The Nightmare Before Christmas when he was little.
5. Tahan’s Younger Sister Daisy Appeared in ‘Nurse Jackie’ & ‘Little Fockers’
Tahan has a younger sister named Daisy. He also has an older brother named Willie, as Tahan revealed in a 2010 interview with MSN. Their parents are Ellie and Michael Tahan and they grew up in Glen Rock, New Jersey.
When Daisy was eight years old, she got her breakthrough role as Robert De Niro’s granddaughter in Little Fockers. She also appeared in Showtime’s Nurse Jackie and was last seen in The Nice Guys.
In a 2010 interview with Bergen.com, Daisy said she looked up to her brother because of his acting ability. “I love how he can do all different kinds of emotions, I’m not as good at that,” she said in 2010.