Pennyworth, the upcoming Batman prequel has cast its two central characters, Alfred Pennyworth and Thomas Wayne.
Alfred, Batman’s loyal butler and a former British Special Air Service agent, will be played by Jack Bannon (Kids in Love, The Imitation Game), while Thomas Wayne, the Dark Knight’s father, will be portrayed by Ben Aldridge (Reign, Fleabag).
Pennyworth will revolve around the budding friendship of Alfred and Thomas when the former begins work as the latter’s bodyguard in 60s London, according to TVLine. “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. He’s a man on the make, who doesn’t know what to make of himself yet.”
Thomas, meanwhile, is a young billionaire who’s “confident and extremely disciplined.” Well, we know where his son Bruce got his sense of discipline: Bruce Wayne famously underwent years of training to become the Dark Knight in the wake of his parents’ murder.
This prequel series, which thus far has a ten-episode order, will be executive produced by Bruno Heller, who previously worked on the series Gotham, which chronicles the early life of another prominent character in the world of Batman: the honest, dependable Commissioner Gordon. The Pennyworth prequel is apparently not set in the same universe as Gotham.
Frankly, after years of meticulously keeping track of who knows who across which television shows, the relative separation will be a breath of fresh air. I’m excited to see this series come to life. Batman is cool and all, but he’d be nothing without the butler who raised him, IMHO.
For the longest time, we remember Alan Napier as the Alfred, kindly, wise, and a little doddering, though in Gotham, Sean Pertwee’s Alfred is no-nonsense and still very clearly a force to be reckoned with.
I’m thrilled to see Pennyworth come to life, especially with an Alfred who’s unsure of his place in the world and reviled by his actions as a SAS agent. No word yet on when this series debuts, but you’ll know as soon as I do.