Pennyworth Creator Says Some Audiences Had No Idea It Was Batman Adjacent

When Pennyworth returned for its third season on Thursday, it came with an update to the series, which debuted on Epix and is now on HBO Max. The series is now officially titled Pennyworth: The Origins of Batman's Butler — a title that got a bit of roasting from folks online when it was first announced — but it turns out there's a reason for the change. According to series creator Bruno Heller, it turns out that there were viewers who had no idea that Pennyworth had any connection to Batman.

HBO Max did their research, and they discovered a fair few people who had watched and enjoyed the first few seasons of Pennyworth, but had not realized it was about Batman," Heller told EW. "They just thought it was about a bloke who left the army."

He continued, "That's a bit of an error, in terms of our conceptualization. Should've thrown in a lot more Easter eggs! It became clear that it was just a sensible, matter-of-fact thing to do. We came up with a thousand versions of that: The Journey of Batman's Mentor, The Life of Batman's Guardian. But the simplest thing is best."

The new, full-length title for Pennyworth may be long and a little too on the nose, but it does help tell people who aren't dedicated DC fans who the show is about.

"The beauty of the DC canon is that pretty much everyone has a smattering of knowledge about it," Heller told Deadline. "But there are several steps from name recognition to eyeballs on the screen. I think HBO Max was right. Visibility and clarity is everything ... though I wish it could have been 'the butler that changed America' because I always like that in book titles."

The third season of Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler, debuted on Thursday on HBO Max. It will run for 10 episodes with one episode being released weekly. The season picks up after a five-year time jump and will see the ushering in of a new age of Super Heroes and Supervillains.

Executive produced by Bruno Heller, Matthew Patnick, Danny Cannon, and John Stephens, Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler stars Jack BannonBen AldridgeEmma Paetz, Paloma Faith, Ryan Fletcher, Dorothy Atkinson, Ramon Tikaram, Harriet Slater, and Simon Manyonda. The series is officially described as "this DC origin story follows Bruce Wayne's legendary butler, Alfred Pennyworth, a former British SAS soldier who forms a security company and goes to work with young billionaire Thomas Wayne, who's not yet Bruce's billionaire father."

Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler is now streaming on HBO Max.