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Why The Role Of Selina Was Recast On Gotham

It never became quite the cultural sensation Fox and Warner Bros. were likely hoping for, but during its 5 season run, there really were few superhero series as wildly inventive, unabashedly over-the-top, or feverishly entertaining than "Gotham." That series took a similar approach to superhero lore as the WB hit "Smallville" in exploring the formative years of Batman. But it's safe to say the teen years of the boy who would be the Dark Knight (David Mazouz) were explored with more comics-specific narrative flair and operatic twists of fate than "Smallville" ever dreamed of. 

"Gotham" also tweaked the "Smallville" formula in that it wasn't focused entirely on the adventures of young Bruce Wayne. In fact, the main focus of the series was the rise of Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) from beat cop to steely Commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department. Likewise, the rogue's gallery of villains that Batman would eventually spend his life fighting were just as frequently front and center, with Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), and Joker (Camron Monaghan) all making appearances.

Of course, Catwoman was there, as well, with Carmen Bicondova portraying the feisty, teenaged Selina Kyle for the bulk of the show's 5 season run. To the surprise of "Gotham" fans everywhere, however, the role of Selina Kyle was actually recast for one of the series' key episodes. Here's why. 

Selina needed to age up for Gotham's series finale

That episode was the series finale of "Gotham." And yes, it was the only one in the series' entire small screen run to not feature Carmen Bicondova in the role of Selina Kyle. Seems at least part of the reasoning behind the recasting of Selina was that the episode in question featured a 10-year time jump, plunging the 17-year-old Bruce and Selina fully into adulthood. The Selina recast was still a bit perplexing, however, as David Mazouz did return to play the older version of Bruce, while Lili Simmons stepped in to replace Bicondova as adult Selina.

The recasting of Selina may not have been the original plan, however, as Bicondova noted in a lengthy Twitter statement posted ahead of the episode's airing that the decision not to appear in the series finale of "Gotham" was entirely hers. After confirming her absence in the finale, Bicondova stated, "It's important to me that I'm the one to tell you this because it was a choice that I made ..." She went on to offer some insight to her reasoning, stating, "I firmly believe that part of leaving a legacy and being part of a legacy means knowing when to pass the torch to someone else. I was blessed to be the vessel for Selina Kyle for her formative teen years, and it only felt right to give someone else the torch for her adult self."

Bicondova clearly put a lot of thought into her decision, and it's hard to argue her logic. But even as Simmons admirably filled in for her on "Gotham," it was still a shock to see another actor in the role.