Believe it or not, Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's trusty butler, is getting his very own TV series. Epix, the premium cable network owned by MGM, has given a straight-to-series order to Pennyworth, which will center on the DC Comics character closely associated with Batman. Epix president Michael Wright had this to say about the new series.
"As genuine fans of these classic DC characters, as well as the incredibly talented Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, we couldn't be more excited to make Epix the home of this series. We can't wait to work with Bruno and Danny, along with Peter Roth, Susan Rovner, Brett Paul and the team at Warner Horizon, on this fantastic origin story."
Pennyworth has been given a 10-episode first season order. The series comes from Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller. However, it's been made clear that this new show will not in any way be related to Fox's Batman prequel series, which has just been renewed for a fifth and final, shortened season. Because of this, Sean Pertwee, who plays Alfred on Gotham, will not be portraying the character on the new series, but casting has yet to be announced. Danny Cannon, who directed the pilot for Gotham, is on board Pennyworth as an executive producer and will also direct the first episode. Heller and Cannon had this to say in a statement.
"Michael and his colleagues have created the perfect venue for original storytelling, and all of us working on Pennyworth are thrilled to be on the Epix slate."
Many people may be rightfully wondering how on Earth a character like Alfred could justify having a TV series. Even the trailer for Teen Titans Go! to the Movies made a joke about Alfred getting his own movie. According to the new report, Pennyworth will focus on the character in the 1960s during his time as a Britain SAS soldier. He forms a secret company and goes to work with Bruce Wayne's father, Thomas Wayne. The elder Wayne, as DC fans are well aware, is eventually murdered in an alley with his wife, which is the inciting incident that results in Bruce eventually becoming Batman.
This further expands the world of DC Comics that exists on the small screen. While the DCEU has faltered in many ways on the big screen, Warner Bros. has had a lot of luck with the TV side of things. The CW is host to The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow and Black Lightning, with SyFy now home to the Superman prequel series Krypton. There are also several shows, such as Doom Patrol, Titans and Swamp Thing, heading for the DC Universe streaming service, which launches later this year.
Previously, on the big screen, the role of Alfred has been played by the likes of Michael Caine, Michael Gough and, most recently, Jeremy Irons. Bruno Heller is set to pen the script for the first episode of Pennyworth. As of right now, there is no word on a possible premiere date, but it's possible Epix could put a brick on the gas pedal and have it ready for the fall season. This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.