Batman’s Butler Gets a Badass Origin Story in EPIX’s ‘Pennyworth’ Trailer (VIDEO)
Just as we prepare to say goodbye to Gotham and its Hot Alfred Pennyworth (Sean Pertwee), here comes the famed butler’s backstory with a hot, younger Alfred (Jack Bannon) and a whole bunch of Swingin’ ’60s cool.
In Pennyworth, EPIX’s lavish upcoming action-drama, Medici and Endeavour alum Bannon stars as a twentysomething Alfred, who is just on the cusp of creating his own security company after wrapping up a 10-year stint in the British SAS.
“We learn about everything he’s gone through,” said Bannon on the show’s sprawling set in Leavesden, London. “The war was a big part of his formative years because he was in the army for 10 years. When we meet him, he’s out of it, but through a series of flashbacks, we learn some of the horrors he went through and how they shaped the man he is today.”
Fittingly, the ultra-stylish series comes from Gotham‘s creator Bruno Heller and executive producer Danny Cannon, but don’t expect to see any masked vigilantes or costumed baddies. Aside from Bannon’s Alfred, the only other DC Comics-based characters are Ben Aldridge and Emma Paetz as Thomas and the soon-to-be Martha Wayne (who are wildly different than anything we’ve seen in the comic books). The rest of the Pennyworth roster is packed with original creations, including a deliciously intriguing villainess named Bet Sykes, played by Paloma Faith, and the descendant of a notorious historical figure.
“The fact that it’s an origin story and a prequel, a story that starts before any of the ‘marquee’ names, I guess you could call them, gives you a lot of freedom,” says Heller of fleshing out Alfred’s pre-Wayne Manor life. “Any world in which Batman or Superman exists means the sort of ordinary people are much smaller characters. And I prefer to work with real people, that is why Gotham is about Gordon.
“An essential mystery there is ‘How did a gung-ho SAS soldier wind up a butler?’ That is not the natural progression,” continues Heller, crediting a big-screen Alfred for introducing the idea of Pennyworth’s military past. “As far I know, Michael Caine, when he was asked the play the part [in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy] said ‘I don’t want to play [a straight-out] butler.'”
That addition to the canon clearly informed the version we saw in Gotham. Now, in addition to underworld mob plots, Royal conspiracies involving the Queen of England, and whatever shady business the Waynes are up to in the U.K., we’ll finally see how the story we know the ending to actually started. Check out the teaser trailer here!
Pennyworth, Premieres Summer 2019, EPIX