The DC Entertainment universe continues to grow as the MGM-owned premium cable network Epix has handed out a 10-episode, straight-to-series order for Pennyworth, a Batman prequel that will tell the origin story of the caped crusader’s best friend and butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
The drama helms from Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller and is based on DC characters created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. The series is not a Gotham spinoff but is reportedly an entirely new story exploring Alfred’s origins as a former British SAS soldier who forms a secret company and goes to work with Bruce’s billionaire father, Thomas Wayne, in 1960’s London. Sean Pertwee, who plays Alfred on FOX’s recently renewed Gotham, is not involved with the new project.
Heller will serve as writer and executive producer on Pennyworth, which marks a reunion with Gotham‘s Danny Cannon, who is also executive producing and will direct the pilot. Casting for the series has not yet begun and production will begin later this year. A series premiere is slated for 2019.
Epix president Michael Wright said: “As genuine fans of these classic DC characters, as well as the incredibly talented Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, we couldn’t be more excited to make Epix the home of this series. We can’t wait to work with Bruno and Danny — along with Peter Roth, Susan Rovner, Brett Paul and the team at Warner Horizon — on this fantastic origin story.”
“Michael and his colleagues have created the perfect venue for original storytelling, and all of us working on Pennyworth are thrilled to be on the Epix slate.”
Pennyworth comes on the heels of Epix’s recent pick up of ABC Signature Studio’s drama series Godfather of Harlem, starring and executive produced by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, with Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein (Narcos) serving as showrunners. Both series are part of a growing slate of Epix originals, which includes the upcoming season two premiere of the critically-acclaimed dark comedy Get Shorty from MGM Television this summer.