As unlikely Batman prequel series go, Pennyworth certainly ranks up there, but the new teaser trailer for the upcoming series makes a case for following the adventures of the man who would become Bruce Wayne’s butler. The series is set to debut this summer on EPIX, the home of such programs as Deep State with Mark Strong (Shazam!) and the recently canceled Berlin Station. And as the new teaser for Pennyworth illustrates, the network may be dipping its toe in the superhero genre (albeit obliquely), but it’s definitely staying in its comfort zone when it comes to spygames.
The series stars Jack Bannon (Fury, Ripper Street) as the eponymous character, with Ben Aldridge (Fleabag) as the future father of the Dark Knight himself, Thomas Wayne. And while this first look at the series certainly makes it seem as though it is prepared to stand on its own two legs, far outside the realm of Gotham City and all its criminal inhabitants — much less the heroes of the larger DC Universe — it’s also not shy about dropping the Wayne name at the end.
Surprisingly, it doesn’t land like a ton of bricks, as the teaser delivers a stylish-looking drama that brings with it a certain unexpected humor and wit, and a ‘60s vibe that helps seal the deal. Part of it is the editing of the teaser itself, which helps energize the filtered visuals a bit, but overall, though Pennyworth may have initially sounded like an unnecessary addition to the Batman lore, it looks worth checking out here.
“The 10-episode, hour-long drama series from Warner Horizon Scripted Television is based on DC characters created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger. It follows Bruce Wayne’s legendary butler, Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon), a former British SAS soldier in his 20s, who forms a security company and goes to work with a young billionaire Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge), who’s not yet Bruce’s father, in 1960s London.”
The show’s distance from present-day Batman stories and, certainly, Gotham City will be something of a double edged sword, as even FOX’s Gotham couldn’t escape the pull of Bruce Wayne and Batman despite early attempts to only be adjacent to the legendary character. Pennyworth’s distance from both will make any effort bring the larger DCU into the series a tough pill to swallow, no matter how much fans clamor for it. As such, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on this new series when it hits TV this summer.
Pennyworth premieres Sunday, July 28 @9pm on EPIX.