Although we know very little about the upcoming Justice League Part One, apart from the fact that Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder has started working on it, we can be sure one actor is returning: Jeremy Irons.
Speaking to Showbiz411, Irons confirmed his character Alfred would be at Batman's side when he assembles the Justice League. Obviously, he will also be in Batman's solo movie, which is set to be written and directed by Batman himself (a.k.a. Ben Affleck). From what we've already seen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this is a new spin on the butler's character, but what exactly can we expect from Alfred?
Alfred Is 'A Man Who Can Do Anything'
Irons's take on Alfred's character in Batman v Superman, following in the footsteps of Michael Caine in the Dark Knight trilogy, matched Ben Affleck's much darker and grittier interpretation of Batman. Alfred Pennyworth isn't just a butler anymore, fixing Batman's equipment and kindly watching over Bruce Wayne — he's an ex-special ops man and he's far from soft-hearted.
The English actor said so himself while speaking to the Toronto Sun back in September:
"Zack Snyder, the director, wanted to create a completely different Alfred. So I felt I didn't have to carry any baggage from previous ones. It's sort of a reincarnation if you'd like. I had a feeling I was creating my own Alfred, more of a man who can actually do anything if he has to."
Will We See Alfred In Action?
Although we didn't get to see much of his skills yet, this new depiction strongly recalls the Batman: Earth One comic, in which Alfred is an ex-MI6 agent. And he's not the type to make Batman some tea.
It's a storyline in which Alfred actually passes on some of his skills to Bruce Wayne, and that seems more than useful considering the challenge Batman is about to face: Tracking a bunch of superheroes who've been trying for years — if not centuries — to stay in the shadows of anonymity, and convincing them to join forces to face an unknown threat.
Surely this new task will have Batman needing to learn a thing or two from Alfred, so let's hope we'll see him in action! He did get his own poster for Batman v Superman.
He's A Bodyguard, But Also A Mentor
However, our new Alfred isn't just a tough guy who knows his way around Batman's multiple hi-tech combat gadgets. His experience on the field also makes him a precious counselor who's able to understand more than ever the violence Batman has to face.
Irons revealed a bit more of his role as a mentor to Comic Book Resources in March:
"Not so to speak, a butler, although I believe he makes a rare dry martini, and can brew a fine cup of coffee, and indeed make a fantastic breakfast. But he's also somebody who when he was maybe driving back with Bruce Wayne over the moors at 3:00 in the morning when he was 17 years old, and the Aston Martin breaks down, somebody who would get under it and fix it. In other words, cover every possible problem. Also, a man who Bruce, as a young teenager unsure of things, could discuss issues with. Issues of morality, issues of life, issues of relationships. That was the Alfred I wanted to find."
Confirming our expectations that this Alfred was no mere butler, the actor also teased that his character could get closer to the action. First with Comic Book Resources:
"He will always remain Bruce's sidekick, as he should, because without him, he's nothing. But I hope within those confines, he will be able to surprise and amuse future audiences."
And with The Sydney Morning Herald:
"He still needs a friend, a confidant, a supporter. In some ways, a protector. Someone on the other end of the radio. [Pause.] Someone who can fly the Batmobile."
Justice League Part One is out November 17, 2017.