The Batman May Have Found Its Alfred Pennyworth

Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther

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With The Batman ready to roll cameras early next year, the highly-anticipated DC Comics movie has been slowly putting its cast together over the last couple months. The latest news on that front is that Andy Serkis is being eyed to play Bruce Wayne’s trusty butler and father figure, Alfred Pennyworth.

This casting update comes from The Wrap, which reports that Andy Serkis is currently in talks to portray Alfred in The Batman. If a deal is reached, this would be Serkis’ third time contributing to a comic book movie franchise, as he previously played Ulysses Klaue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is also directing Venom 2.

Andy Serkis participating in The Batman would also reunite him with filmmaker Matt Reeves, as Serkis and Reeves previously worked together on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes, where Serkis reprised Caesar. One can reasonably assume that unlike those movies, Serkis’s Alfred in The Batman won’t be a motion capture performance… unless they use CGI to make him look like Michael Caine during postproduction.

Again, Andy Serkis hasn’t signed on the dotted line for The Batman just yet. If he does though, he’d be joining a cast that so far consists of Robert Pattinson as the eponymous protagonist, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler. Word has also come in that Colin Farrell is in talks to play The Penguin.

Alfred Pennyworth (or Alfred Beagle, as he was originally known) has been an integral character in the Batman mythos since almost the very beginning, which naturally means he’s appeared a lot outside the comics. Although the general public knows him best as Bruce Wayne’s butler, in modern depictions, he’s also a skilled combatant thanks to his special forces background, and he frequently serves as Bruce’s moral anchor when not offering sarcastic commentary on his boss’ nighttime activities.

Among the actors who’ve portrayed Alfred in live action on the big screen include Michael Gough in the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman movies, Michael Caine in the Dark Knight trilogy, Jeremy Irons in the DC Extended Universe and, most recently, Douglas Hodge in Joker. Sean Pertwee also recently played Alfred on the Fox series Gotham and a younger version of the character is starring in his own Epix series, Pennyworth.

So far no specific plot details for The Batman have been revealed other than it will a noir-influenced story that takes place early in the Caped Crusader’s crimefighting career and highlights his detective skills. It’s also been rumored that the movie is influenced by The Long Halloween, which saw Batman tracking down a holiday-gimmicked serial killer over the course of a year.

Joining Matt Reeves behind the scenes are cinematographer Greig Fraser, VFX supervisor Dan Lemmon and composer Michael Giacchino. In addition to directing, Reeves co-wrote The Batman’s script with Mattson Tomlin.

The Batman swoops into theaters on June 25, 2021, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on how it’s progressing. For now, you can keep track of what other DC Comics movies are coming down the pipeline with our handy guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.