Epix is pushing forward their planned Alfred Pennyworth television series, with filming possibly beginning this fall. The series, titled Pennyworth, will serve as a prequel focusing entirely on the character of Alfred Pennyworth, giving an unprecedented look into the Batman character’s backstory and life before his career at Wayne Manor.
Plans for the Pennyworth prequel series were revealed last month. Bruno Heller, executive producer and showrunner on Fox’s current Batman prequel series, Gotham, will be heading the Pennyworth series, which was given a straight-to-series order by Epix. Another one of Gotham’s executive producers and directors, Danny Cannon, will also work on Pennyworth. However, while the two series share a showrunner and director, Gotham and Epix’s Pennyworth prequel will not be connected in any way. Reportedly set in the 1960s, the series will follow the young Alfred as he lives his life in London following his experience with the S.A.S., Great Britain’s secret forces. The show will see Pennyworth go into business with Bruce Wayne’s father, Thomas Wayne, as the two begin a “secret company” together. The first season will be comprised of 10 episodes.
Omega Underground reports that Epix is considering a fall production start on Pennyworth. Epix is also considering pushing production back to start in the winter. Filming is thought to begin in the United Kingdom, given the series’ London setting.
Previous onscreen depictions of Pennyworth include Michael Caine’s now iconic performance as the Wayne’s butler in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy and Jeremy Irons’ recent take on the character with Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While these iterations of Alfred Pennyworth have all been on the older side, this planned television prequel would afford a rare look into a younger Pennyworth and reveal exactly how he came into the service of the Waynes, a question that has not been answered in any true depth by previous works that included the character.
This is not to forget the current television Pennyworth, played by Sean Pertwee on Gotham. The Alfred seen on Bruno Heller’s current show references the character’s past perhaps more than any other onscreen version of Alfred that has previously been portrayed, and Pertwee’s performance is regularly praised by fans and television critics. The character then appears to be in good hands with showrunner Bruno Heller.
Though Batman fans can get their fix of the Wayne’s butler on the small screen with Gotham, it won’t be so for long. Gotham was renewed for its fifth and final season in May, and the last installment of the FOX series begins filming this July. Actress Camren Bicondova (Selina Kyle on Gotham) revealed earlier this month that season five will have a shorter episode length as well, with Gotham’s final season including ten episodes as opposed to the typical 22 episode length. As Gotham is winding down, perhaps Epix’s Alfred Pennyworth series will move in to take its place.
Pennyworth does not yet have a series premiere date.
Source: Omega Underground