Another DC Show Canceled After James Gunn's Chapter 1 Plans Take Shape
While Tuesday may have been an exciting day for DC fans with the reveal of James Gunn and Peter Safran's DC Studios slate, Wednesday brought some bad news for fans of Pennyworth. HBO Max has canceled the prequel series centered around Batman's iconic butler Alfred Pennyworth after three seasons. The series, which was rebranded as Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler, recently concluded its third and now final season in late November.
Pennyworth began its run with two seasons on Epix (now MGM+) before making the leap to HBO Max for Season 3. The series starred Jack Bannon as Alfred Pennyworth and was created and showrun by Gotham creator Bruno Heller. Pennyworth is just the latest DC series to get the axe at HBO Max. Last week it was announced that both Doom Patrol and Titans will end with their current seasons.
"While HBO Max is not moving forward with another season of Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler, we are very thankful to creator Bruno Heller and executive producers Matthew Patnick, Danny Cannon and John Stephens, along with Warner Bros. Television, for their brilliant, unique, gripping depiction of the origin of Alfred Pennyworth, one of the most iconic characters in the Batman world," a spokesperson for HBO Max said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter). "An incredible blend of action, drama and humor, for three seasons, Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler has taken fans on a mind-bending ride into Alfred's eccentric world and the beginnings of cutting-edge super heroes and super villains."
Season 3 of Pennyworth ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, with Alfred, along with Lucius Fox (Simon Manyonda), Bet Sykes (Polly Walker), Martha (Emma Paetz) and Bruce Wayne (Ben Aldridge) along with their young daughter, Sam (Jayda Eyles) and several others had escaped a London where the citizens had been drugged with a dangerous hallucinogenic and watched from a distance as General Thursday dropped a nuclear bomb on the city. Heller told ComicBook.com last year that Season 4 of the series would see things get "slightly more bonkers" from there.
"It definitely is the Prime Minister who's got his, or rather, he was the target and not the entire city of London," Heller told us. "There's enough of the city left to rebuild in Season 4. And, as you know, nuclear bombs at least in the comic books lead to all sorts of shenanigans. Strange developments."
"It would have to be slightly more bonkers," Heller added about where Season 4 could go after the blast. "We've got to keep up that arc. It's leading to a world in which people like Batman and the Joker exist so it was always the intention to kind of keep upping the ante on the craziness of this world as long as it keeps a grounding in real life, which is where Jack Bannon and Alfred come in, because he's such a regular person The world will get stranger and crazier as it goes on."
As was noted above, the news of Pennyworth's cancellation comes just a day after the reveal of the initial DC Studios slate for "Gods and Monsters", the first chapter of the new DC Universe of movies and TV shows. The slate includes movies for Superman: Legacy, The Brave and the Bold, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, Swamp Thing, and The Authority and HBO Max television shows Waller, Booster Gold, Lanterns, Paradise Lost, and an animated Creature Commandos series.
"We're honored to be the stewards of these DC characters we've loved since we were children," Gunn and Safran said in a statement when their roles were first announced. "We look forward to collaborating with the most talented writers, directors, and actors in the world to create an integrated, multilayered universe that still allows for the individual expression of the artists involved. Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the DC stable of characters is only equaled by our commitment to the wonder of human possibility these characters represent. We're excited to invigorate the theatrical experience around the world as we tell some of the biggest, most beautiful, and grandest stories ever told."
All three seasons of Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler are now streaming on HBO Max.
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