Stepping into the shoes of an iconic superhero like Batman can be daunting, and Robert Pattinson is likely feeling it as he prepares for his Dark Knight debut in The Batman. However, the same also applies to the actors filling out the supporting cast, including Andy Serkis, who plays Alfred Pennyworth. Several actors have portrayed Bruce Wayne’s faithful butler on the big screen over the years, with Michael Caine’s interpretation in the Dark Knight Trilogy becoming a fan favorite. Serkis is also a fan of Caine’s interpretation, but he’s not exactly looking to emulate his performance:
He [Caine] was fantastic. His Alfred was legendary, I couldn't even begin to go there, really. You find it for yourself. It's like playing these iconic roles in Shakespeare, you go back, you revisit them and you have to make it your own, and see what it is about the character that connects with you and your personal venn diagram.
It sounds like Andy Serkis has been given his version of Alfred quite a bit of thought, and it may be a key factor in the film’s success. Aside from confirming that we’ll see a ‘darker, broodier’ Batman, he further explained to LADbible that the bond between Bruce and Alfred is the crux of the movie:
I would say that's not far from the truth. It's very much about the emotional connection between Alfred and Bruce. That's really at the centre of it. And it is a really exquisite script that Matt has written.
The relationship between Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth has always been pivotal and has helped define Batman as character. With writer/director Matt Reeves potentially tapping into this, fans could be in for a more complex dynamic between than two than we’ve seen in a movie thus far.
In terms of taking the reins of a fan-favorite character, Andy Serkis is definitely not alone, as Zoë Kravitz will don the famous catsuit and become Catwoman. The actress admitted that she did find the prospect of taking the role “a little scary.” Still, she’s been relatively at ease about playing the iconic antihero once brought to life by Michelle Pfeiffer.
There’s also Colin Farrell, who’s playing the Penguin and will apparently have to undergo a bit of a physical transformation for the part. Farrell hasn’t said too much about how it feels to play the Gotham City gangster, but it should help that Batman Returns’ Danny DeVito is rooting for him to succeed.
Andy Serkis and his co-stars are all more than capable actors who have proven their abilities on multiple occasions. So there’s no doubt that they should be able to put their own unique spins on some of DC Comics’ most beloved characters. The Batman is slated to open on October 1, 2021.