DC Comics and Warner Bros has struggled to make a permanent foothold in the superhero film landscape, this last decade. That much, everyone knows. On the TV side of things? Well, they’re close reining supreme. At least as far as comic front is concerned. Deadline has revealed their latest venture, a show about Alfred Pennyworth, has secured its lead.
Jack Bannon (The Imitation Game) has been tapped to play Bruce Wayne’s future butler (and surrogate father), in Pennyworth. A 10 episode series is set to premiere on streaming service Epix next year. The people behind the show is none other than the team that recently did Gotham on Fox. Though showrunner Bruno Heller and director Danny Cannon have been quick to state while this is a prequel for the character, it doesn’t tie back into that program.
Here’s the official synopsis:
“Pennyworth follows Bruce Wayne’s legendary butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Bannon), a former British SAS soldier in his 20’s, who forms a security company and goes to work with a young billionaire, Thomas Wayne, who’s not yet Bruce’s father, in 1960s London.”
It goes on to to describe this Alfred as “the kind of person people would never take for a SAS killer. Alfred doesn’t know how to reconcile the kind-hearted boy he used to be with the cold, calculated killer he was forced to become.” Pennyworth‘s Alfred seems to line up previous takes on the character. Without getting into “pre-crisis” and “post-crisis” nonsense (comic continuity is a mess), lets just say Alfred is an emotional badass, who can also be a physical badass, when needed.
All of this sounds good, for the most part. Batman’s a character we’re not likely to see on the small screen. At least in a way that most are expecting. So it makes sense to explore all the characters that surround him. The wrinkle here, is where the show is ended up. Epix is weird choice. No way around it. Specially when DC is investing too much money in the their DC Universe platform. Unless they’re worried about keeping Titans and Pennyworth separate.
Does this seem like a good idea to all you? Are you excited by the prospect to see the “early days” of Alfred? Are you pinning for the day the caped crusader gets a streaming series of his own? Let us know in the comments. There’s sure to be more news coming out of this one soon. Pennyworth officially begins production in a couple of weeks.
Update (11:15am): It appears Pennyworth has also found someone to fill the shoes of young Thomas Wayne. Ben Aldridge will serve as the co-lead alongside Jack Bannon. Aldridge recently was seen as a regular on the BBC program Our Girl as well as Amazon’s Fleabag. See, we told you there’d be more news soon.