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Pennyworth serves up Jack Bannon to play Alfred in pre-Batman origin series

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Oct 15, 2018, 12:42 PM EDT

With so many iconic actors already having put their spin on the character, taking on the role of Alfred Pennyworth comes with heavy expectations. But EPIX believes it has found the right actor to tackle the estimable butler’s pre-Batman origins with the just-announced casting of Jack Bannon as the lead character in the upcoming series Pennyworth.

Warner Bros. and EPIX unveiled Bannon today as Alfred for the hotly anticipated show, which focuses on the venerable Wayne family butler’s up-and-coming years. Bannon (The Imitation Game, Ripper Street) will play Alfred in his 20s, right as he’s left his life as a British SAS soldier behind to start his own security company in 1960s London. 

One of his first clients is a familiar name indeed: young billionaire Thomas Wayne, in the years before he becomes Bruce’s father. Warner Bros. announced Ben Aldridge (Fleabag, Skinny Dip) will play the rising mogul, a “young, fresh-faced billionaire” who’s “[c]onfident and extremely disciplined.”

The studio describes Pennyworth’s version of Alfred as “a boyishly handsome, cheerful, charming, clever young man from London” who’d be hard to read as a trained killer for the British Special Air Service. “Alfred doesn't know how to reconcile the kind-hearted boy he used to be with the cold, calculated killer he was forced to become. He's a man on the make, who doesn't know what to make of himself yet.”

Executive-produced by Gotham’s Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, Pennyworth is based on Bob Kane’s DC characters, but reportedly isn’t intended as a prequel to Fox’s Bruce Wayne origin story series. Clocking in at 10 episodes in its debut season, Pennyworth is set to begin production Oct. 22 at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in the U.K. 

With no premiere date announced and tons more casting announcements to come, Pennyworth is just pouring its first glass — so stay tuned for much more.