Pennyworth showrunner on the Batman prequel series’ wordy title change

With the launch Pennyworth season 3, we also enter a new era for the DC Comics show on HBO Max.

The former Epix series launches on HBO Max under the moniker Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler. Yes, the wordy new name is meant to grab attention, but since its announcement, it has grabbed less than favorable attention. While many expected some changes to the series, the title change is something many were puzzled by.

Fans mocked the title, but a small community understands the changes meant to help the floundering series. Due to its channel or overall lack of recognition, Pennyworth struggled to gain the same amount of love its other DC peers received.

Showrunner, co-creator, and producer Bruno Heller spoke to Deadline about the name change, understanding the backlash and saying he knows the importance of grabbing viewers on a streaming service. He stands by this is “very much Alfred’s story,” and says this is for “visibility and clarity.”

“The beauty of the DC canon is that pretty much everyone has a smattering of knowledge about it… but there are several steps from name recognition to eyeballs on the screen,” says Heller. “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.”

Heller also expresses the importance of the new home for Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler.

“Years ago, people had very few choices. Now it’s much more like a supermarket,” explains Heller. “I don’t mean to be crass about this, but you’re on a shelf and where you are on the shelf becomes very important in a way that it wasn’t before. So platforms matter. We are just very excited to be in the center aisle, in the middle of shelf, next to the cornflakes, instead of up there with the maple honey granola with soy granules in it. All of those cereals have an audience, but you get a bigger audience if you’re next to the Frosted Flakes.”

“Season three of the psychological thriller begins after a five-year time jump: the civil war is over, and a cultural revolution has changed the world for better or worse – ushering in a new age of Super Heroes and Supervillains.”

Featuring in the cast of Pennyworth season three are Jack Bannon (Alfred Pennyworth), Ben Aldridge (Thomas Wayne), Emma Paetz (Martha Kane), Paloma Faith (Bet Sykes), Ryan Fletcher (Wallace McDougal), Dorothy Atkinson (Mary Pennyworth), Ramon Tikaram (Inspector Victor Aziz), Harriet Slater (Sandra Onslow), and Simon Manyonda (Lucius Fox).

Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler airs on HBO Max.


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