It looks like The Batman director Matt Reeves has found a role in the movie for one of his regular collaborators. A new report says Andy Serkis, who played Caesar in both of Reeves’s Planet of the Apes films, is now in talks to play Alfred Pennyworth, the butler for the Wayne family and the friend and father figure to Robert Pattinson’s Batman.
According to The Wrap, Serkis could be our next Alfred, joining a long line of actors who have played the role. Famous previous Alfreds include Alan Napier (Batman ’66), Michael Gough (the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher films), Michael Caine (The Dark Knight trilogy), Jeremy Irons (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League), and, most recently, Douglas Hodge (Joker). Sean Pertwee and Jack Bannon have recently played the character on the small screen in Gotham and Pennyworth, respectively.
There’s no word yet about what type of Alfred we can expect in this film, but the character has traditionally been a sort of north star for an often-troubled Batman/Bruce Wayne, nudging him in the right direction and providing guidance and care when needed. Alfred’s butler days were preceded by a stint in the British special forces, and unlike someone like Gough (who brought a very paternal vibe to the role), Serkis is still young enough where he seems like he might be able to get a few punches in if he were to be involved in some sort of fight sequence in this movie.
Serkis has previously expressed interest in stepping into Reeves’ version of Gotham City. When asked if he would want to venture into the DC Universe, he told JoBlo:
“Oh, for sure! I mean, I’d go to the edge of the created universe with Matt [Reeves]. I mean, he’s the most brilliant director. I would work with anything with him again, y’know, I mean, I absolutely adore him and we’re very good friends, close friends, and I think he’s an extraordinary director so for sure.”
If Serkis’s deal goes through, he’ll join a cast that includes Pattinson as Batman, Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman/Selina Kyle, and Paul Dano as Edward Nashton, aka The Riddler. Serkis has previously appeared in comic book films like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Black Panther, and he’s currently set to direct Venom 2 for Sony. Is it just us, or does anyone else hope that Alfred – and ONLY Alfred – is entirely motion-captured in this movie? (Seriously, though: Serkis is a terrific actor in or out of a performance capture suit.)
Filming begins in January 2020 in the U.K., and The Batman is scheduled to swoop into theaters on June 25, 2021.
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