Gotham may be coming to an end on FOX next year, but the team behind the series will keep the Batman prequel ideas going. THR reports that Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller has landed a 10-episode straight-to-series order for Pennyworth, a show set within the DC Comics universe that tells the origin story of—you guessed it—Alfred Pennyworth. Yes folks, we’ve reached the stage of superhero saturation where we’re making a TV show entirely about Batman’s butler (funny enough, there’s a joke about this in the Teen Titans Go to the Movies trailer).
This new TV series will not be tied to Gotham and thus is not a proper spinoff of that series, which began as a James Gordon prequel show but very quickly evolved into more of a Batman prequel series. FOX recently ordered a fifth and final season for Gotham, which will revolve around the transformation of young Bruce Wayne into Batman.
Sean Pertwee, who plays Alfred Pennyworth on Gotham, is not involved in Pennyworth and casting has not yet begun, but the show will take place in 1960s London and will explore the origins of the former British SAS soldier who forms a secret company and goes to work with billionaire Thomas Wayne.
Heller will be reuniting with Gotham executive producer Danny Cannon on Pennyworth, who will direct the pilot just as he did with Gotham. This is a curious development for Warner Horizon and DC Entertainment, which has plenty of comics-based shows on the air on The CW but which has been branching out recently with Krypton on Syfy and of course the upcoming DC Universe streaming service, which is lining up a slew of original TV series based on DC comics.
This is also a big move for Epix, which previously entered the scripted series realm with shows like Berlin Station and Get Shorty. This certainly marks the biggest original series for Epix thus far, but it’ll be interesting to see how big of an audience Pennyworth will draw. This isn’t exactly a caped crusader that would convince folks to spring for the pay cable channel, but perhaps the 1960s aesthetic will appeal to those who do subscribed to Epix already.
Anyway, at this rate we’re in line for a Perry White Netflix series any day now.