People have been wondering: when is the point where we hit Peak Superhero in the media? How about now? DC has just announced a partnership with MGM’s premium channel Epix to produce at least one season of a TV series about Alfred, Batman’s butler.
At the point in Alfred’s life where the show (which is called “Pennyworth,” fittingly enough) takes place, he’s left the British SAS to form a security company with Thomas Wayne (Batman’s doomed dad) in 1960s London. Since this show comes from Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller, expect a lot of winking at the audience and “could THIS person be THAT person?” teases.
It’s just the latest example in DC’s long history of being skittish about using their biggest heroes on live-action TV, allegedly out of fear their brands will be less valuable on the big screen. From Smallville to Birds of Prey to Gotham to Krypton and now this, there’s a mountain of shows that tiptoe close to Batman and Superman but never actually go there. For one brief shining moment DC allowed the Man of Steel to appear in a Supergirl two-parter, but this appears to have been a fluke.
Granted….with Alfred there IS something to work with. It’s established canon that before he became the Wayne family butler he was an MI6 superspy. This is likely the detail on his resume that got him the job. If you’re going to be best friends with Bruce Wayne, being a tough cookie is a requirement — or you’ll probably die.
The premiere is scheduled for 2019. One more thing…..there is a joke about this very show concept in the Teen Titans Go trailer.