Jeremy Irons On Alfred In ‘Batman V Superman’: ‘Quite A Different Alfred’ Than In The Past

Batman v Superman is sure to have a lot of changes in store for DC’s Dark Knight when it hits the screen in 2016, and it looks like Batman’s supporting cast will see some changes as well. Jeremy Irons, who plays Batman’s faithful butler, Alfred Pennyworth, says that the Alfred he plays will be very different from anything we’ve seen on the screen so far.

Alfred Pennyworth has been around almost as long as Batman himself, debuting in 1943’s Batman #16 as Bruce Wayne’s loyal and tireless butler. When appearing on the screen, Alfred has tended to show up as Batman’s wisecracking tactical support at best. The Waynes’ loyal butler typically patches Batman’s wounds and keeps Wayne Manor from falling into disrepair, but he never really gets in on the action.

alfred batman v superman
Alfred looked a bit different when he first appeared in Batman #16, but he's become an indispensable part of the Batman mythos since then, and he'll stay just as integral in Batman v Superman. Image via DCComicsArtists.

Batman v Superman might see that tradition change, if only ever so slightly. Speaking with the Hollywood Reporter, Irons said that Zack Snyder asked for something a bit different when it comes to Batman v Superman’s Alfred.

“He is quite a different Alfred than we have seen so far,” Irons said. “Zack Snyder had very clear views about what he wanted. I would just say he’s more hands-on perhaps than just a butler.”

THR notes that Irons wouldn’t go into too much detail on the role he’ll play, but he did note that Alfred’s role is “not a large role” in Batman v Superman, likely due to the wealth of characters the next Superman movie will juggle. DC is positioning Batman v Superman as the launchpad for its entire Justice League universe of films, and we can expect to see appearances from not only Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, but also Cyborg, a female Robin, the Flash, and likely some of the Suicide Squad. With that many characters to cram in in addition to Batman and Superman, it’s no surprise that Batman’s butler won’t play too much of a role.

What can we expect to see of Alfred Pennyworth when Batman v Superman hits the screen, though? Given director Zack Snyder’s well-established love of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, it’s possible that we’ll see an Alfred that’s similar to the one seen in that graphic novel.

That means we can possibly expect to see Alfred not only cracking wise as he patches Batman’s wounds, but also dishing out tactical advice and logistical support while Batman is in the field. Of course, those who’ve read The Dark Knight Returns will no doubt hope that Alfred’s final fate in Batman v Superman isn’t quite as… “utterly proper”… as it is in the comics.

[Lead image via Smallville Wikia and GeekCrusade]