Pennyworth's premise revolves around the adventures of Alfred Pennyworth during his early days as the Wayne family's butler. Given that this is a prequel that has ties to the larger Batman mythos, many are not expecting an appearance from Gotham's protector just yet.
Still, the show is maximizing its connection to Batman, with Warner Bros. even changing the title to Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler. Pennyworth showrunner Bruno Heller addressed the change by saying that the shift in title had to do with "visibility and clarity."
Now, amid its current Season 3 run, an important Batman question was addressed.
Will Batman Show Up in Pennyworth?
Pennyworth Season 3 featured young Samantha Wayne, the child of Martha and Thomas and Bruce's older sister (though the future Batman hasn't even been born yet in the story).
However, this latest season revealed that Samantha, portrayed by Jayda Eyles, has an interesting character arc, leading many to wonder if she will become Gotham's future protector herself.
Speaking with Comicbook.com, Pennyworth showrunner Bruno Heller was asked if the series will deviate from Bruce becoming Batman or if Samantha will end up as the DC vigilante.
The DC producer admitted that "both of those things are in the mix as a possibility," ultimately teasing that fans should "just wait and see:"
“She’s great, isn’t she? She’s really good. Both of those things are in the mix as a possibility when you’re creating this kind of storyline, which ends with facts that people already know. You kind of have to keep your options open and always be surprising. Always find a way to get your story to where it’s supposed to go, but in ways that people weren’t expecting and developments that no one saw coming. And I think that’s what we promised for this season. I think we delivered on that, and we will continue to deliver in the same way. Just wait and see."
In a separate interview with Looper, Pennyworth showrunners Bruno Heller and John Stephens were asked which actor they prefer to cast as Batman in the prequel series.
Heller pointed out that they've "already done that," noting that they had the "best Batman" in Gotham star David Mazouz:
Looper: "If you get a chance to cast a young Bruce Wayne, do you have a name in mind?"
Heller: "No. Have you got any suggestions?"
Stephens: "Like, as a baby? Or as an aged-up little guy, 10, 11?"
Heller: "No, ’cause we’ve already done that. I think we had the best Batman out there in David Mazouz. I’ll bring him back."
Mazouz played Bruce Wayne in five seasons of Gotham before transitioning to portray Batman in the final episode.
Why Pennyworth Needs To Include Bruce Wayne
Pennyworth showrunner Bruno Heller's latest comments suggest that anything is possible for the prequel series at this point, but a Batman show without Bruce Wayne in at least one scene would cause an uproar from diehard fans.
Heller is no stranger to deviating from the Bat-family canon since his previous show, Gotham, strayed away from it several times, such as its interpretation of Joker (Jerome Valeska) and Riddler working in the GCPD. This would mean that Pennyworth could tackle canon changes, hinting that Samantha Wayne has a real shot of becoming Gotham's protector.
Still, Pennyworth could borrow a page from Gotham's approach when featuring Batman in its series finale. The show surprised everyone when Season 2 confirmed that Martha Wayne is pregnant, and a similar move could be made as early as the Season 3 finale or future seasons.
Considering that Warner Bros. placed Batman in its title, there's a strong chance that the Dark Knight will at least be referenced at some point in the series.
Pennyworth Season 3 is streaming on HBO Max.