Production is back underway for Pennyworth Season 2 in the UK under the new COVID-19 safety guidelines, and the cast and executive producers revealed some tantalizing tidbits about what’s ahead during the show’s panel at DC FanDome Day 2, moderated by IGN’s Laura Prudom (hey, that’s me!). Check out the full list of DC FanDome panels and how to watch them on our schedule.
The biggest news out of the panel was the impending introduction of iconic Batman character Lucius Fox, although creator and showrunner Bruno Heller also noted, “there’s little bits of Batman stuff that’s coming in that I don’t want to talk about because that stuff is best left as a surprise and those who get it, get it, and those who don’t, don’t,” so keep your eyes peeled throughout Season 2.
After the panel, Heller shared a few more details with IGN about Lucius Fox, revealing in our exclusive interview that he’ll make his first appearance in episode 4 of Pennyworth Season 2.
“He comes in very unexpectedly, not in a role or a situation you’d expect to find him in,” Heller told IGN. “And it’s been really fun writing him as a character because he’s one of those characters that, like Alfred himself, has got a rich canonical history. Great people have played him. And so it’s cheating, really, because there’s already a weight to the character. So you have to find a way of living up to expectations and surprising people at the same time and making him consonant with all the great portrayals that have come before.”
Casting for the role of Lucius Fox is still underway, but Heller did say “we’re going to cast someone consonant with the goodness and the richness of the history of that character.”
Season 2 starts a year after the events of the Season 1 finale, and, as Heller explained during our interview, “Lord Harwood is running a fascist regime, that essentially [has taken over] one half, most of the country. London is under siege. And so it’s a bit like … Well, there’s any number of historical references, but the Siege of Barcelona: this one city that is the only hope left for the good guys, is holding out against a much larger, much more powerful force. And Martha is a fighter in that battle, kind of a street-fighting woman. Her almost-lover Thomas comes back with far more responsibility than he had when he left. He’s been made CIA Station Chief … It’s a kind of careerist move, but it intensifies the conflict he feels between what he knows is right, and what he can see is being presented to him as policy he has to follow.”
The other bombshell that Heller dropped during the panel also related to the future Thomas and Martha Wayne: “This season, Martha gets pregnant.”
Since Thomas and Martha aren’t even married yet – and are apparently embroiled in a civil war for the fate of England – we’re guessing that the bun in Martha’s oven won’t turn out to be a Bat – but it will certainly create further complications in their relationship.
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“Because of both of their roles, the conflict that was kind implicit in their relationship, but was almost comical, is now deadly serious because he’s CIA Station Chief and she’s a confidante of the [No Name] League leadership,” Heller told IGN. “And she does know things and she is doing things that the CIA wants to know about. And then the CIA does things … he’s forced into doing things that really turn her against him as a moral being. But at the same time, they’re falling in love with each other. In wartime, those kinds of relationships, strange things happen and things happen very fast and intensely. So on the one hand, it’s a slow boil. On the other hand, it’s a flashpoint in their relationship.”
Alfred, meanwhile, is playing a role similar to that of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, Heller previewed: “Alfie’s running a club called Delaney’s, which is essentially like Rick’s in Casablanca, the one place in town where there’s a neutral zone in the center of London … [where] everyone meets to do business. So he’s at the calm center of the storm, as it were. And part of being that calm center of the storm is he takes no sides.”
Of course, Heller added, “inevitably, he’s drawn back into the conflict. He is simply there trying to raise enough money to get out of London and get to America. He’s decided, after killing his father, London has very few charms for him. His mum doesn’t want to leave, but he’s desperate to leave. And everything that happens to him follows from that desire to get out and the difficulty of doing so.”
For viewers who were fascinated by Alfie’s unlikely romance with the Queen in Season 1, Heller promised more on that front. “The Queen is back, absolutely. Alfie’s not a good boyfriend, I’ll put it that way, and their relationship reflects that. And we did play that out, but she’s also now a Queen in wartime and has taken on a more serious and essential, hands-on role in running the country because it’s the last resort. They’re in the last redoubt.”
We can also expect Alfie to be embroiled in another “ill-advised, noir-ish kind of romance,” Heller said, despite the loss of Esme in Season 1.
As for the scene-stealing Bet Sykes, Heller told us, “The people around Lord Harwood really didn’t want the Sykes sisters hanging around because it’s not a good look. She’s too much of a loose cannon. So she’s been promoted. She’s working in a Raven interrogation center. And she meets someone there that… I don’t want to say too much because you know the best thing about Bet’s stories is they’re always surprising. But she falls in love, in her way, and that leads her to do dangerous things.”
Heller also shared a little about the process of working under the new COVID safety guidelines, and how the break has affected both the writing and filming process.
“It’s very rare that you get a chance to really work on something as I’ve been able to do. I have all 10 written… I’m laughing because I confess, after all this time, I’m still… I was about to say ‘mucking about’ with nine and 10, but that’s not what I’m doing. I’m bearing down on them extremely hard in a novelistic kind of way,” he told IGN with a chuckle. “But of course, the work stretches to fit. If it had gone on for another year, that lockdown, I’d still be fiddling around with episode 10. But this lockdown and actually the process of filming in this way has its bonuses because there’s more of a premium on simple communication and talking stuff through. It’s a simpler process in many ways.”
In terms of filming, Heller said, despite the months-long break, “We kind of picked up where we left off as if nothing had happened. Everyone is so happy to be back to work, and the process is so intensely focused because you have to be mindful. I’m sure it’s the same with everybody’s work. Some things become much more pure and simple.”
No release date has been announced yet for Epix’s Pennyworth Season 2, but stay tuned to IGN for more updates. In the meantime, check out the biggest announcements and reveals from Day 1 of DC FanDome, including the first trailer for The Batman, a closer look at Zack Snyder’s Cut of Justice League, the full cast reveal of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, and what we can expect from the Black Adam movie starring The Rock.
Plus, learn about Legends of Tomorrow’s new Season 6 hero, the new Superman costume that will debut in The CW’s upcoming Superman and Lois series, and the good news about Doom Patrol’s Season 3 renewal.
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