From the minds that brought you Gotham -- a TV series about the city where Batman lives set when Bruce Wayne was just a kid, and therefore they had to retrofit all the supervillains to show up way earlier than they would have -- comes a spin-off of sorts starring a young version of the Waynes' soon-to-be butler. Pennyworth is coming to Epix in the near future and the series about Alfred as a young British secret service agent is hotting up. The series' official Twitter account released an image of star Jack Bannon in a tuxedo, in full would-be James Bond mode.
— PENNYWORTH (@PennyworthEpix) February 10, 2019
Ben Aldridge has been cast as a young Thomas Wayne and Jason Flemyng will play the series' villain, Lord Harwood. No word yet on when the series will premiere, but we're pretty fascinated to see how close to the DC canon the show will hew, given they've set it so far in the past.
Original report follows
In the same way I thought it was very weird that, when all of the DC Universe television series were on The CW (except Supergirl which eventually went there), Gotham was on Fox and unrelated, it appears that in an age when a bunch of new series have been announced for the DC Universe streaming service (like Titans, Harley Quinn, Swamp Thing, and Doom Patrol), another Batman-centric prequel series will find a home...on Epix. Bizarre. But The Hollywood Reporter has shared the news that Bruno Heller--showrunner of Gotham) will create the series Pennyworth, an unrelated series about the early days of the Wayne Family butler, Alfred.
UPDATE, 10/15/2018 - Just a few months after Epix announced its production of an Alfred Pennyworth origin story, the network has found an actor up to the task of playing a younger version of Gotham's true greatest hero:
Meet your new Pennyworth.
— PENNYWORTH (@PennyworthEpix) October 15, 2018
Though a relative newbie to the screen, Jack Bannon does have a few roles of note on his résumé, namely a part in the Oscar-nominated drama The Imitation Game and a recurring role in the British mystery drama Endeavour. Details remain scant on what we'll see in Epix's Pennyworth, but we at least we can now put a face to the name.
5/16/2018 - The MGM-owned premium cable network has ordered a 10-episode series of Pennyworth which will revolve around Alfred's "origins as a former British SAS soldier who forms a secret company and goes to work with Thomas Wayne — Bruce's billionaire father — in 1960s London." The story was quick to mention this is not a spin-off of Gotham, nor does Sean Pertwee--who currently plays Alfred on Gotham--have anything to do with it. Gotham was recently picked up for a fifth and final 13-episode season at Fox happening late this year.
Alfred has been one of the most fascinating characters in the Bat-canon for decades. Beginning as just Bruce Wayne's proper English butler, Alfred has become a deep and complex figure who acts as Batman's conscience, father figure, and mentor while his backstory as a former British secret service agent has been explored in various media. Still, this stuff gives context for current-day Alfred and on its own it doesn't seem like it'll have much to it as a show. Heller seems to think everything that happens before Batman is reason enough to have a show. We shall see, but it's not like it's Krypton, where actual aliens do actual alien stuff.
Are you intrigued or even excited by the idea of Pennyworth? Let us know below!
Images: DC/Warner Bros
Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist and an avowed DC Comics fanboy. Follow him on Twitter!