DC's Pennyworth prequel series became a surprise hit for many fans and critics, thus resulting in a stellar two-season run. After the success of its sophomore season, the hit DC spin-off was confirmed to move from Epix to HBO Max during last year's DC FanDome, but the ramifications of this transfer have yet to be unveiled.
The Jack Bannon-led series is now poised to return in its third season alongside several twists and turns that affect the Batman mythos. For example, the early arrival of Lucius Fox in Season 2 was an unexpected twist alongside the reveal that Martha Wayne gave birth to a baby girl instead of a baby boy, ultimately changing the narrative that Bruce Wayne is their only child.
Now, ahead of the show's third season, a significant change to its title has led to confused reactions from fans.
DC's Pennyworth Has Received a Questionable New Title
Warner Bros., via IGN, officially revealed the new title of its Batman spin-off revolving around Alfred Pennyworth. Originally titled Pennyworth, the studio boasts a new title for the show: Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler.
Alongside the new title, the first trailer for its third season was also revealed:
Why Pennyworth Has a Terrible New Title
Based on this new reveal, it seems that Warner Bros. is seemingly trying to force a Batman connection into the show's title, reminding fans that this spin-off series is part of the DC umbrella due to the brand status of the Caped Crusader. Granted, the simple Pennyworth title may be confusing for casual fans, but early marketing for the series didn't fail in driving the point home that it is about Alfred Pennyworth's journey to becoming the Wayne family's famous butler.
Adding Batman to the title feels like overkill to many, coming off as a transparent means of trying to draw people in through the promise of the Dark Knight. The studio is trying to hammer down the point that this show has ties to Batman, even though the actual Dark Knight will not show up in the series.
A similar situation occurred with a name change to Harley Quinn's spin-off, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn). Warner Bros. ended up changing the title in certain territories to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey to get the supervillain's name recognition earlier on in the title to help draw in potential audience members.
Referring to Alfred as "Batman's Butler" also comes off as ridiculous, essentially reducing his character to what he is eventually destined to become. Many did gawk at the prospect of a Pennyworth series initially, but adding this subheading only further means that Alfred is unable to stand on his own two feet with the shadow of the Dark Knight looming over him.
Amid the rising number of canceled projects under Warner Bros., there's a good chance that this title change could have been mandated by the higher executives in order for the show to not be one of those series.
Whatever the case, the quality of the series could still be top-notch, and all will be revealed when Season 3 premieres this October.