pennyworth plot details

Everyone is getting the “hot, young” treatment these days, so why not Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s loyal and trustworthy butler? The once stiff-lipped butler has already received a devil-may-care makeover in the Fox prequel series Gotham, but Pennyworth is kicking things up a notch. According to Pennyworth plot details shared by executive producer Danny Cannon, this Alfred (played by Jack Bannon) is a toughened former SAS soldier living in swinging ’60s London and battling the descendants of…Jack the Ripper?

Before he met American billionaire Thomas Wayne and took on an orphaned Bruce Wayne as his ward, Alfred Pennyworth was a badass who was fighting crime across the pond in 1960s London. Which, of course, means that Pennyworth will draw from the vast well of fictional and real-life British villains. But for some reason, that almost always means some variant of Jack the Ripper.

Gotham executive producer Danny Cannon shared some details about the upcoming prequel series Pennyworth, which will star The Imitation Game‘s Jack Bannon as a young Alfred Pennyworth just coming off his service as a British SAS soldier who forms a security company and becomes employed by Thomas Wayne. “It’s twenty-something years before Gotham, it’s a very different world,” Cannon told Deadline at the TCA winter tour. “It’s not the England we know. It looks and feels like, but if you look a little closer, [you ask], ‘Why is that like that? Why is that building there? What war is he talking about?'” He added:

 “[The show will feature] archetypal villains and classic villains of British literature; they’re all available to us. Jack the Ripper was [around in the] 1880s, but he has descendants.”

This won’t be the first time a Batman property has dealt with Jack the Ripper. The DC Comics one-shot Gotham by Gaslight, which was adapted into a 2018 animated film, saw Batman tussling with the infamous serial killer in an Elseworlds storyline. It’s a little predictable for Pennyworth to conjure up Jack the Ripper — I’m sorry, his descendants — as a villain of the series, but he’ll probably remain an object of fascination for storytellers, comic book and otherwise, for a long time.

Cannon promises a completely “unhinged, R-rated” series with Pennyworth, which is unsurprising considering the series plans to feature the descendants of an infamous serial killer. But from the details shared by Cannon, the series is shaping up to be a James Bond meets Kingsman-style show, which is promising.

Written and executive produced by Gotham‘s Bruno HellerPennyworth will run for 10 episodes and premiere on Epix sometime in June 2019.

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