With production well under way and filming for Pennyworth set to begin next year, Epix has revealed all-new character breakdowns for the Batman prequel’s central cast. In addition to the titular Alfred Pennyworth, played by Jack Bannon, the casting news indicates there will be at least a half-dozen other series regulars.
A DC series spinoff, Pennyworth is being positioned as a retro, R-rated story that follows Alfred’s journey from a “cheerful, charming, clever” young man to a 20-something British SAS soldier-turned-businessman in 1960s London. While most fans know Alfred as Bruce Wayne/Batman’s, butler, the series will show how he was initially a partner in forming a security company with billionaire Thomas Wayne (Bruce’s father). This is more than likely the result of his getting mixed up with an organized crime group called the Raven Society that wants to get their hands on Wayne. The character is expected to evolve into somewhat of a warrior that more closely resembles what is seen in the Gotham series (even though this is not a canon prequel), but we will initially see Alfred struggle with reconciling his boyhood kindheartedness and the calculated killer mentality he developed as a soldier.
As reported in a casting and character update on That Hashtag Show, Alfred and Wayne will be joined by Martha Kane, Marcus “Bazza” Barrington, Wallace McDuff, Lord Hardwood, Bet Sykes, Peggy Sykes, and Esmé. Both ambitious and honest, Alfred is described as being torn between his “father’s lifetime of dignified servitude” and the prospect of being a businessman in his own right. Thomas Wayne, played by Ben Aldridge, is portrayed as a wealthy “All-American hero” who may be a bit too harsh at times when seeking justice. Martha Kane, the not-yet cast future mother of Batman, is a brave and somewhat reckless woman who consistently tries to help those who are oppressed. Bazza, a “Casanova from Barbados” played by Hainsley Lloyd Bennett, is a lifelong friend of Alfred’s from their time as soldiers, while Wallace McDuff, a.k.a. “Dave Boy” played by Ryan Fletcher, is Scottish friend of Alfred’s who’s a bit of a drunk.
Potentially causing havoc, Lord Hardwood, played by X-Men: First Class actor Jason Flemyng, is a wealthy Englishman said to be hiding a vicious and sadistic side beneath all his charm. A “tough-as-nails villain with a magnetic charm,” Bet Sykes will be played by Paloma Faith; her dominatrix sister Peggy Sykes, portrayed by Polly Walker, will pop up from time to time as well. Lastly is Esmé, a recurring female club patron and potential love interest who’s “ready to make her own way in the world.” Gotham creator Bruno Heller and producer/director Danny Cannon are heading up the show, which will delve further into the character’s genteel history, his time as a mercenary, and his work for British intelligence that has come up in comics and film over the years.
While an official premiere date is not yet set, Pennyworth is starting to come together as the casting and storyline further solidify. Among the more interesting potential reveals hinted at by this most recent news is the path that Alfred might take from running his own business with the elder Wayne to then becoming his butler. One can’t help but wonder if a last wish from Alfred’s father has anything to do with this.
Source: That Hashtag Show