Why Andy Serkis Wanted to Play Alfred in Matt Reeves' The Batman

Andy Serkis says reuniting with his two-time Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves is why he's playing Bruce Wayne's butler in The Batman. Serkis, who CG played ape tribe leader Caesar opposite his Venom 2 star Woody Harrelson in the Reeves-directed War for the Planet of the Apes, is sworn to secrecy about the DC Comics reboot — except to say he's excited to work with Reeves after their collaboration on War and its 2014 predecessor Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

"It was definitely to work with Matt. I'd love to be able to talk about it, but I can't talk anything about it," Serkis told Uproxx about boarding The Batman. "I've been forbidden to talk about Alfred!" 

It's no secret that Serkis is part of a star-studded cast that includes Robert Pattinson as Batman, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as the Riddler, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, and Colin Farrell as the Penguin. But, Serkis says, "I can't really talk about The Batman." 

Serkis, who played villain Ulysses Klaue in Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron and Black Panther before returning to the comic book realm as the director of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, can only say that Reeves' take on the Dark Knight is "going to be special."  

"What I will say is that I'm pretty certain Matt Reeves, who is a very dear friend of mine and of course we've worked together on the Planet of the Apes movies, I know for a fact he's making a pretty amazing picture," Serkis told ScreenRant. "I really think it's going to be special."

Set in year two of Bruce Wayne's career as a costumed crime-fighter, The Batman is "very much about the emotional connection between Alfred and Bruce," Serkis revealed to LADBible last year. "That's really at the center of it. And it is a really exquisite script that Matt has written." 

Serkis is the latest actor to portray Batman's butler and most trusted ally on the big screen. The most notable actors to appear as Alfred Pennyworth include Alan Napier, Michael Gough, and most recently, Michael Caine in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and Jeremy Irons in Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman and Justice League

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"[Caine] was fantastic. His Alfred was legendary, I couldn't even begin to go there, really," Serkis told LADBible. "You find it for yourself. It's like playing these iconic roles in Shakespeare, you go back, you revisit them and you have to make it your own, and see what it is about the character that connects with you and your personal venn diagram." 

The Batman opens in theaters on March 4, 2022.