Do You Think That The Next Alfred Should Be A Woman?
Published on June 22, 2019
Can you imagine if Batman’s butler was a woman? Although it might be hard to believe, fans are actually petitioning the Batman franchise to consider a change-up to the classic Alfred Pennyworth role. If the creator’s of the upcoming film The Batman gave in to the Internet’s demands, it would be the first time that Alfred’s character would have changed since 1943. Which brings us to the ultimate question: do you think that the next Alfred should be a woman?
Ever since the 1940s, Alfred Pennyworth has entertained audiences as Batman’s charming and loyal butler. Although a lot of elements have changed in the Batman series throughout the years, Alfred has always been a reliable fixture. The British butler has been a staple throughout the ages, with one of the most popular portrayals being done by Michael Gough. In fact, Gough starred as Alfred throughout all four of the Batman dynasty created by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, including 1989’s Batman, 1992’s Batman Returns, 1995’s Batman Forever, and 1997’s Batman & Robin.
Not to mention Jeremy Irons’ latest take as Alfred in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for the DC Extended Universe. Plus, who could forget Michael Caine’s shot at Alfred in Christopher Nolan’s 2008 hit The Dark Knight? Despite the multitude of good Alfred actors out there, audiences are craving something different for the classic role. Depending on how The Batman director Matt Reeves responds, the Internet might just get what it wants.
The Internet Has Spoken
Although you may have heard about Robert Pattinson being cast as Bruce Wayne in The Batman, you may not have heard about Twitter users requesting a switch-up for Alfred too. It all started when comic artist and writer Bryan Hitch asked Twitter who would be the best sidekick to Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne. Surprisingly, The Punisher creator Gerry Conway responded, “Hear me out. Maggie Smith.” The tweet quickly went viral, gaining almost 20,000 likes!
The Internet loved the idea, and it inspired Conway to continue his stream of thought. He later posted, “Emma [Thompson] already has a franchise now: MIB. Maggie is younger than Michael Caine but point taken. Caine was 70 when he played Alfred in Batman Begins. Who’s a great British actress in her 60s? How about Kristin Scott Thomas? Julie Waters? Emily Watson? Miranda Richardson?” While each of the actresses would be a hit as the new Alfred (or Alfreda), it remains to be seen if The Batman producers would consider the notion.
Several days later, the Twitter conversation between Conway and Hitch continued to gain steam. In fact, Conway even tagged The Batman director Matt Reeves in the barrage of tweets, suggesting that he should simply call Alfred “Pennyworth” if he were to be replaced by a female actress. Batman fans quickly poured more fuel on the fire, tweeting that Judi Dench, Olivia Colman, or Helen Mirren should be options for the hypothetical female Alfred role. One Twitter user even suggested that Diana Rigg of Game of Thrones should be thrown into the theoretical ring.
Although it’s been requested by popular demand, we’re unsure how receptive Reeves would be to switching gender roles for Alfred’s part. Since Alfred’s heavily portrayed as a father figure to Wayne throughout the franchise, it would be tough to see how The Batman creators would switch up that dynamic. However, it’s about time for Batman to change up its formula for Alfred. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see how Reeves responds to the Internet’s demands. Stay tuned for The Batman, coming to theaters in 2021.