'Batman' Prequel 'Pennyworth' Lands Series Order at Epix

Giovanni Rufino  FOX

Giovanni Rufino FOX

The series is an origin story that will explore Alfred's life as a former British SAS soldier who forms a security company and goes to work with Bruce Wayne's father, billionaire Thomas Wayne.

This is also a big move for Epix, which previously entered the scripted series realm with shows like Berlin Station and Get Shorty.

And unlike the duo's previous show, it's headed not to the Stateside Fox network, but to niche cable channel Epix for a 10-episode first season.

Casting is yet to begin, though we understand Sean Pertwee, who plays Alfred Pennyworth on Fox's flagship Gotham series, won't be involved, which presumably leaves the door open to cast a new and younger (?) incarnation of Batman's loyal ally and friend.

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After telling the origin stories of Bruce Wayne and James Gordon, Gotham boss Bruno Heller and executive producer Danny Cannon will do the same for Wayne's trusted butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

Pennyworth is based on DC characters created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Television division behind such dramas as Krypton, Animal Kingdom and Longmire, Pennyworth will reunite Heller with Gotham's Danny Cannon, who will executive produce and direct the pilot.

Pennyworth could fill a hole for DC Comics fans once Gotham completes its fifth and final season, which is expected to show the transformation of rich-kid Bruce Wayne into the superhero role of Batman. The order helps Gotham hit the 100-episode milestone needed to be sold in syndication, which would create a financial windfall for indie studio Warner Bros. TV.

Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon said, "Michael and his colleagues have created the flawless venue for original storytelling, and all of us working on Pennyworth are thrilled to be on the Epix slate".

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