Epix’s drama Pennyworth has found its villainess at the top of the British pop charts: Platinum-selling singer Paloma Faith has joined the cast in the role of Bet Sykes, a cruel adversary who will test the courage of young Alfred Pennyworth and his new boss, Thomas Wayne, the future father of Bruce Wayne.
Faith’s character is described as a “spirited, sadistic and sharp-tongued villain,” according to Warner Horizon Scripted Television. The characters are based on the adventures dating back to the FDR years and published in the pages of Batman, Detective Comics and other DC Comics titles.
Faith has acted before — her onscreen credits include Peter & Wendy and Doctor Parnassus — but is best known as a UK music star with a strong track record at home but little traction in the American market.
The singer’s fourth full-length album, The Architect, was released last November and hit No. 1 on the British pop charts and logged 32 weeks in the UK Top 40. The collection features contributions from Samuel L. Jackson, Owen Jones, John Legend, Janelle Martin and Naomi Miller. It was hailed by some noted UK music outlets including Q Magazine: “It’s clear The Architect has elevated her to a whole new level.”
Pennyworth stars Jack Bannon (Imitation Game) in the title role and begins production Monday at Warner Bros Studios Leavesden in England. The show is from executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (Gotham, The Mentalist, Rome) and executive producer/director Danny Cannon (Gotham, CSI series).
Pennyworth is planned as 10 one-hour episodes that will chronicle the origins of the bond between Pennyworth and the Wayne Family, a connection that in later decades will make Pennyworth the butler and devoted guardian of young Bruce Wayne — and eventually Batman’s unflappable aide-de-camp, battle nurse and Batcave back-up team.
The story is set in 1960s London and finds Pennyworth recently finished with his service as a British SAS soldier. The military years have taken him to dark duties but Pennyworth still has winning ways with his boyish face, clever mind and charismatic personality. Pennyworth forms a security company and finds an employer in a young American billionaire named Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge).
Alfred first appeared in DC Comics in 1943 and has been portrayed as the manservant of stately Wayne Manor in most every medium that has adapted Batman. On television, Pennyworth was memorably portrayed by Alan Napier on the 1966 series Batman. On the big screen actors such as Michael Gough, Michael Caine and, most recently, Jeremy Irons have portrayed the irascible Batcave butler.
Faith is repped by CAA, United Agents and Lateral Management.