- Title: Batman's butler gets gritty DC backstory in 'Pennyworth'
- Date: 24th October 2019
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (RECENT) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR, JACK BANNON (ALFRED PENNYWORTH), SAYING: "Like anything else, you know, it landed in my inbox and I read the premise and I thought 'really they're going to make a show about the butler? Right, okay, fine'. But then as soon as I read the script, you know, I was completely hooked from the beginning, really. Bruno Heller, our brilliant writer and showrunner, on page 3 of the of the pilot wrote a full page description almost of the world in which "Pennyworth" is set, this dark, twisted London, or version of London. And from that moment really I knew that it was something that I wanted to be a part of and then it was just a very long and arduous audition process that spanned many months and eventually, yeah, I got the role."
- Embargoed: 7th November 2019 13:52
- Keywords: Pennyworth TV series Alfred Pennyworth Batman's butler Batman father Thomas Wayne origin story Starzplay DC comics
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM AND VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM AND VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA004B2GGI8D
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: New DC origin series "Pennyworth" explores the backstories of super hero Batman's father Thomas Wayne and his future butler Alfred Pennyworth but features no "capes and tights", its lead stars say.
Set in 1960s London, the 10-episode series centres on the title character Alfred Pennyworth, a former soldier in his 20s who, back from war and haunted by his memories of it, sets up his own security company.
A chance encounter with young American billionaire Thomas Wayne, who is yet to father Bruce Wayne, sparks a lifelong partnership.
Based on DC characters, the show is executive produced by the man behind "Gotham", "Rome" and "The Mentalist", Bruno Heller.
According to Ben Aldridge, who plays Thomas Wayne, the series follows in the footsteps of darker and edgier DC origin stories such as "Joker".
"I think, what I like about DC is that they seem to be going on this really psychologically dark route with their latest films and with the Joker and obviously with Robert Pattinson being cast as Batman, I think it will go a similar vein and I think Pennyworth does that as well. I think it's kind of got the edge and that kind of dark psychological drama to it. It's not kind of all like colourful and fancy," he said.
Actor Jack Bannon, who has previously starred in "The Imitation Game" and "Fury" takes on his first title role in "Pennyworth".
Initially, he said he was sceptical about the premise of the series.
"I thought 'really they're going to make a show about the butler? Right, okay, fine'. But then as soon as I read the script, you know, I was completely hooked from the beginning, really," he said.
Alfred Pennyworth was famously portrayed by British actor Michael Caine in "Batman Begins", "The Dark Knight" "The Dark Knight Rises" but Bannon said he sought inspiration elsewhere. The show's origin story approach allowed for more creativity, he said.
"The great thing about our show is it takes place before any of the comics or anything like that. So, we're sort of filling in the history so we can really go to town with it if you like," he said.
"We sort of focussed on the drama of it and the truth of the moment rather than the huge weight of these names," Bannon added.
While the characters are well known in their later incarnations, little is known about their origin, added Aldridge.
"Yeah, there's a certain amount of pressure there but also there's a lot of free rein and a lot of creative licence," he said.
"I think we're just we're filling in the blanks...In a way we're kind of creating those roles in a way that people haven't seen them before. So, there is some nice freedom in that way," he said.
"Pennyworth" also stars singer and actress Paloma Faith as the villain Bet Sykes.
The series receives its UK premiere on StarzPlay on October 25.
(Production: Hanna Rantala)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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