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SYFY WIRE The Batman

The Batman eyeing Andy Serkis for Alfred role; Colin Farrell in talks for Penguin

By Jacob Oller & Josh Weiss
Andy Serkis Colin Farrell

The Batman cast is fleshing out its most important parts, with writer/director Matt Reeves’ film recently finding its villains (Paul Dano’s Riddler, Zöe Kravitz’s Catwoman) and supporting crew (Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordon). Now the Robert Pattinson-led film about Bruce Wayne’s early days as Gotham’s masked crimefighter has its eyes on one of the most important parts of any story about Batman: Alfred.

Batman’s butler/surrogate father Alfred Pennyworth is a staple for the franchise — so much so that the often eldery character got his own young-and-sexy, self-titled spin-off series on Epix earlier this year. Now, according to The Wrap, Reeves is returning to a familiar face for his film’s version. If all goes well with negotiations, Andy Serkis will help nurture Pattinson’s Wayne in the upcoming film, as the Black Panther actor reunites with his Planet of the Apes director.

The casting has now been confirmed by the director:

Serkis is a bit younger than, say, Michael Caine, Jeremy Irons, or Michael Gough, but Pattinson is playing an earlier version of the superhero than most film iterations of the Caped Crusader. As Warner Bros. enters an era of the DCEU where solo films are king, stacking the supporting cast with heavy hitters (and ones that the writer/director knows extensively from their previous collaborations) is just one way to make their standalone films stand out.

Serkis is no stranger to superhero fare, appearing as baddie Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther while boarding the Venom sequel as its director.

But that's not the only Caped Crusader news on the docket this afternoon. Per Deadline, Colin Farrell is currently in talks to play Oswald Cobblepot, aka the Penguin, and round out the ensemble cast. When Jonah Hill was still in discussions to board the project, he reportedly had his choice of Riddler or Penguin. The bird-loving bad guy has been portrayed in the live-action space by a number of big-name actors like Burgess Meredith, Danny DeVito, and Robin Lord Taylor.

Also no stranger to comic book adaptations, Farrell played Bullseye in the Daredevil movie from 2003.

The Batman is aiming for a June 25, 2021, release.