Andy Serkis says his Alfred isn’t a father figure to Bruce Wayne
When Andy Serkis was first announced to be reuniting with his Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves to play Alfred Pennyworth in The Batman, it instantly became clear that we’d be getting an interpretation of Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler and trusted confidant that hasn’t been seen on the big screen before.
Michael Gough, Michael Caine, and Jeremy Irons were all at least 65 years old when they made their first appearances as Alfred, and they each delivered different types of performances that still stuck to the template of having the character act as a wizened old sage, dispenser of wisdom, and erstwhile father figure.
At 57, Serkis is the youngest live-action Alfred we’ve seen by far, and no offense to any of his predecessors, but he’s also in much better physical shape. With that in mind, Serkis revealed to Digital Spy that as an ex-soldier capable of handling himself, he’s not really a standard surrogate dad to Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne at all.
“It’s not the conventional take on Alfred and Batman facing the foe together. At this point, Alfred is in the firing line from Bruce, everything he stands for – the establishment, the loyalty to the Wayne dynasty – is being pushed at and dug into by Bruce. It’s a very fractured, shifting sands relationship.
He is an ex-soldier. He’s worked for the secret service, but one thing he isn’t, is a father or possess the emotional toolbox to be a father. That is really what’s at the core of this telling of the tale of our version of their relationship and I’m thankful that it is a fresh view, really.”
We haven’t seen an awful lot of Serkis’ Alfred in the marketing other than some standard reaction shots to the chaos unfolding around him, so it’ll be very interesting to see if the roughest and readiest Alfred to date ends up getting his hands dirty in The Batman.