Batman spin-off series to focus on the early years of Alfred Pennyworth.

With the upcoming Star Wars prequel, Solo: A Star Wars Story due to hit cinema screens shortly, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy has dropped major hints that a Lando Calrissian spin-off/prequel/Solo sequel is on the cards too. This trend seems to be spreading to TV land as well, with a Batman prequel reported to be in the works. “Wait, isn’t that series Gotham?” you may rightly ask. Well yes, but with Fox recently announcing that the show will wrap up with their commission of a fifth and final season, Gotham’s show runner Bruno Heller will now be giving us the further prequel series titled, Pennyworth that will detail the even earlier version of the life and times of Bruce Wayne’s famous butler Alfred.

Epix, the cable network owned by MGM, has given a straight-to-series order to Pennyworth, which will center on the DC Comics character. The network’s president had this to say about the recent commission:

“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.”

The first season is set to contain 10 episodes, but will not be in any way connected to Gotham where Sean Pertwee can currently be seen playing the character. No announcement has been made as yet on who will be taking on the role in this new incarnation. Danny Cannon, who directed the pilot for Gotham, is set to return as an executive producer and will also direct the first episode. Heller and Cannon had this to say in a statement;

“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.”

Whilst all this sounds very confusing, the premise for this new show actually does sound rather interesting, with a plot involving the character in the 1960s during his time as a British SAS soldier and his introduction to Bruce’s father Thomas Wayne through a newly formed secret company.

As of yet there has been no announcement on a possible premiere date, but with the recent announcement of further DC shows to be broadcast such as Titans, Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing heading for the new DC Universe streaming service set to be launched later this year, it appears that Epix may want to strike while the iron is hot.