Ever since Jeremy Irons was announced as the new cinematic Alfred Pennyworth in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans have wondered what his take on the character would be like. Irons is known for having a sort of dark, morally complex presence onscreen, with a disposition that lends itself naturally towards villainy. To hear he was taking over a role that had just been played with such vulnerability and warmth by Michael Caine seemed to signal that this would be a very different Alfred. Irons, out discussing his career after being honored at the Marrakech international film festival, added fuel to the fire.
“He is quite a different Alfred than we have seen so far,” he says. Irons then added, “Zack Snyder had very clear views about what he wanted. I would just say he’s more hands-on perhaps than just a butler.” The actor was also quick to caution fans, though, that his Alfred is “not a large role.“
Let the speculation begin about what this new take on Alfred will be. Of course, it’s possible that Irons is only familiar with the live-action Alfreds of past Batman films, or even from the 60s TV show Batman and Robin. So when he says it’ll will be different, he’s likely not factoring in depictions of Alfred in the books, cartoons, and even on the new Fox TV show Gotham that have attempted to update the character.
Also of note, in the same discussion, Irons eluded to what may have truly drawn him to this movie. He says working on a massive film like Batman v Superman is “not that different than Die Hard.” He played the villainous Simon Gruber in Die Hard With A Vengeance, in what was considered a departure from the actor- who tends to stick to smaller, artsier films. Irons says he doesn’t mind dipping his toe into films like BvS because of “the obscene amount of money.”
Which Alfred is your favorite? Which do you hope Snyder drew inspiration from? Sound off!