Stop the presses! Some news has just come out of DC's Justice League camp regarding a character returning from [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) — and it's perhaps the best, if most underused, character from the movie. Batman? Heck no. Superman? Who's that? Wonder Woman? Nah.
We speak rather of Jeremy Irons's Alfred Pennyworth, who just confirmed to showbiz411 that he will be returning to make snide comments to Ben Affleck's Batman in Justice League Part One.
This is great news because not only was Irons's dry-witted and more hands-on take on Alfred one of the best parts of Batman v Superman, he's almost a necessary character for every Batman outing, and you can click here to find out how he's very different to previous Alfreds we've seen before.
Alfred's been around since very early in the Batman comic books — introduced only a few years after the big Bat himself — and he's developed beyond a butler to become an important surrogate father figure for Bruce Wayne over the years, perhaps seen on-screen most notably through Sean Pertwee's turn as the ex-British Special Forces Alfred in Gotham.
Batman v Superman saw Alfred not only designing and constructing Bruce's armor and weaponry (taking the place of Lucius Fox from The Dark Knight trilogy), but also remotely piloting the Batwing, actively assisting in Batman's late-night outings. On the other side of the coin he appeared as a close confidant to Bruce Wayne, and he's sassy as anything — constantly ragging on Bruce for his inability to lead a normal life, meet a woman, and start a family.
This DCEU Alfred dynamic chimes with recent comic books, such as the New 52 run, which has really pushed the concept of Alfred as a more active and protective figure in Batman's exploits, rather than just a butler or assistant to Bruce Wayne.
In Death of the Family Alfred is included as part of the Batfamily and kidnapped by Joker. In Injustice: Gods Among Us the super-powered Alfred beats the living snot out of Superman as revenge for breaking Batman's back, in an emotionally charged and heart-wrenching panel sequence. He goes after Joker with a shotgun in Batman: Endgame and, well, if you haven't seen how that turns out we won't spoil it for you.
We didn't get to see a huge amount of Alfred in Batman v Superman among all the other things going on, but now we know for sure that we'll see him returning for Justice League, which is pretty exciting. Presumably he'll be assisting Bruce in his mission to create the League, as he and Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) seek out super powered heroes from across the globe.
Does this mean Alfred will be taking on a more active role with the League when it develops, as he has done in the past? And will we finally get some of that intriguing backstory about Irons's character?
There still a while to go until we'll find the answers to these questions, with Justice League Part One set to land November 17, 2017. Until then, we'll just keep speculating about that proposed Batfleck solo movie, and keeping an eye on growing tensions in the DCEU — now that Flash director has left the scene over creative differences, will James Wan follow suit, and send his Aquaman directing role to sleep with the fishes?
Who's your favorite Alfred? Tell us in the comments below!