Will Batman’s Dad Meet Martha in ‘Pennyworth’ Prequel?

Batman fans all know the name of Batman’s mother thanks to the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film’s major point of contention is that Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) stop fighting when Superman asks Batman to save Martha. It turns out both of their mothers are named Martha. Now, in EPIX’s new series Pennyworth, fans will meet Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) before he ever met Martha, let alone fathered Bruce. 

Pennyworth is the story of Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon), the man who became Bruce Wayne’s butler and helped him keep his Batcave a secret. In the ‘60s, Alfred returned from war, where Thomas hired him as a bodyguard. They had many action-packed adventures before the Wayne parents were killed by a Gotham City mugger. So, when does Thomas meet Martha? Aldridge revealed five things about his character on Pennyworth, which premieres July 28 on EPIX.

Martha is coming in the first season.

Ben Aldridge
Ben Aldridge attends the SMS Battles Quiz for The MS Society| David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for The MS Society

Whether her name was a plot point or not, most depictions of Batman showed Bruce Wayne’s parents already married. In fact, they usually only appear to recreate their death scene which inspires Bruce to fight crime later in life. Pennyworth can show Thomas and Martha’s courtship, and it’s going to begin in the first season.

“I suspect it might be a case not necessarily of immediate attraction,” Aldridge said. “They’ve got a long way to go. She definitely will be a major player in the series. I think she will arrive in the first season.”

Like father, like son

Ben Aldridge in Pennyworth
Ben Aldridge as Thomas Wayne in Pennyworth | EPIX

Seeing Thomas Wayne in action will also inform the hero his son becomes. Sure, Batman has all his own wonderful toys, but he takes after his father.

“I think what definitely will track is very much how Thomas is the father to him and what you see in Thomas back then passes on to Bruce as his son,” Aldridge said. “I think the beginnings of their heroism and kind of moral element of that you will see in Thomas.”

See the real Thomas unfiltered by Alfred

Ben Aldridge in Pennyworth
Ben Aldridge in Pennyworth |EPIX

Most of what Bruce Wayne knows about his father is what Alfred tells him. Bruce was a small child when his parents were murdered. In Pennyworth, we’ll get to see the real Thomas Wayne, not the stories edited by Alfred for Bruce’s benefit.

“Yes, he’s moral, he’s a philanthropist but he’s caught up in a very different world,” Aldridge said. “He’s caught up in a much more covert, dangerous world. In the comic books, he’s a surgeon and working in medicine. Someone they’ve looked to for inspiration is Cary Grant, kind of an old school Hollywood film star. In the comic book depictions, he always had a mustache as well so that’s something that I’ve looked at and wanted to keep.”

He’s already a billionaire

Ben Aldridge in Pennyworth
Ben Aldridge in Pennyworth | EPIX

It costs a lot of money to be Batman, and Bruce Wayne devotes his family fortune to all his costumes and gadgets. That fortune is already well established in Thomas. He’s not spending as much of it, but he is giving his time to the cause of righteousness.

“He’s heir to a massive fortune of Wayne Enterprises,” Aldridge said. “That’s very much up and running and he doesn’t even have to work. He’s working for the American government because he’s very idealistic and believes in the American ideal. That’s what he’s currently doing. He believes in the greater good and he’s making sure that happens for the rest of the world.”

Thomas and Alfred are an odd couple

Jack Bannon and Ben Aldridge in Pennyworth
When Alfred (Jack Bannon) met Thomas (Ben Aldridge) | EPIX

Alfred and Thomas must get along at some point because Alfred agreed to stay with the family as the butler well into old age. As young men in the ‘60s, Thomas and Alfred have friction, as you might expect two young men from the U.S. and U.K. respectively to clash. 

“Thomas is a fish out of water in London, in the U.K.,” Aldridge said. “He needs security and protection to carry out the job that he’s there to do. Alfred seems like the perfect guy. That relationship, there’s some reluctance on Alfred’s part. I think they are very suspicious of each other. They don’t know what to make of each other at first.”