There's never been a live action Batman film that hasn't featured Alfred Pennyworth, and that trend will continue with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice next month. Jeremy Irons will be the fifth actor to play Bruce Wayne's loyal helper on the big screen, but the character won't be in his typical butler guise.
According to some leaked details from the movie's companion book, Irons' Alfred isn't be a butler, per se, but rather a former SAS officer-turned-bodyguard. In Zack Snyder's movie, Pennyworth is originally employed by Thomas and Martha Wayne (opens in new tab) as a bodyguard and was the only member of staff Bruce kept on after the death of his parents. He is now publicly known as Bruce’s chief of security.
Check out an except from the book: "Becoming Bruce’s legal guardian and confidant following the murder of his parents, it was actually Alfred who made the decision to leave Wayne Manor after the rest of the servants were dismissed (that explains why it’s fallen into disrepair). Instead, rather than attempting to maintain an entire mansion by himself, the former SAS officer instead lives in what is described as a "comfortable trailer" on the grounds of the estate."
There is precedent for this unusual take on the character; In the Earth One comics Alfred was a member of the Royal Marines, and that's also the backstory which is currently being used in Gotham. If the first 40 seconds of the final trailer for Batman v Superman (opens in new tab) is anything to go by, Alfred's updated role will pay dividends as it already looks like the back and forth he shares with Bruce is a lot of fun. Here's hoping he's got a good amount of screen time...
Directed by Zack Snyder and starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Diane Lane, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Laurence Fishburne and Amy Adams, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will arrive in UK and US cinemas on March 25, 2016.
Images: Warner Bros