Another Superhero Series Is Cancelled

HBO has canceled Pennyworth, the Batman prequel series starring Jack Bannon.

By Chad Langen | Published

superhero franchise

Ever since James Gunn and Peter Safran were appointed co-heads of DC Studios, several films and television shows have been axed to seemingly make way for the pair’s upcoming slate of projects. Just recently, HBO Max revealed that two of their superhero series, Titans and Doom Patrol, would end with their current fourth seasons. Now, according to Cosmic Book, the Batman prequel show Pennyworth has also been axed.

The superhero series, which premiered in July 2019, aired for two seasons on Epix before being picked up for a third season on HBO Max. The show tells the origin story of Batman’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth, a former special forces soldier living in London, and how he came to work for Bruce Wayne’s father.

In addition to Jack Bannon, who plays the show’s titular character, the series stars Ryan Fletcher, Dorothy Atkinson, Ben Aldridge, Ramon Tikaram, Emma Paetz, and Paloma Faith.

Pennyworth Season 3 premiered on October 6, 2022, and begins after a five-year time jump. A new age of superheroes and supervillains are ushered in following a cultural revolution that has changed the world for better or worse. Although it was unknown at the time it aired, the season’s 10th episode, “Highland Wedding,” serves as the series finale.

A spokesperson for HBO Max thanked creator Bruno Heller, Warner Bros. Television, and executive producers Matthew Patnick, Danny Cannon, and John Stephens “for their brilliant, unique, gripping depiction of the origin of Alfred Pennyworth, one of the most iconic characters in the Batman world.” The superhero series received generally favorable reviews throughout its run. In addition, it was nominated for multiple awards.

The news of the cancellation of Pennyworth comes right on the heels of James Gunn and Peter Safran’s long-awaited unveiling of their ten-year plan for the DC Universe. The pair announced the first 10 projects headed our way in the future, beginning with Superman: Legacy in 2025.

In addition to live-action theatrical releases such as The Brave and the Bold, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow and Swamp Thing, the DC Studio co-heads announced a slew of superhero series that will air exclusively on HBO Max.

Creature Commandos, Waller, Lanterns, Paradise Lost, and Booster Gold have all been announced to be headed to the streaming service, with Creature Commandos being the only animated show of the bunch. Similar to what Marvel is doing with its superhero series on Disney+, these HBO shows will likely serve to connect stories. Of the bunch, Waller looks to be a hot commodity, with development on the spin-off series moving at lightning speed.

Viola Davis will reprise her role as Amanda Waller from previous DC pictures in the forthcoming superhero series, which is being scribed by Doom Patrol creator Jeremy Carver. It was previously announced that Watchmen EP Christal Henry will also serve as a writer and executive producer on the show. Gunn and Safran confirmed that Waller will be a spin-off of the Suicide Squad HBO Max series Peacemaker.

While it’s undoubtedly heartbreaking for fans to watch their favorite DC superhero series like Pennyworth get axed, Gunn and Safran seem to be quite confident in the projects they have in store for the DC Universe.

Overall, their game plan is two release two movies a year, and two shows for HBO Max over the next decade. It’s safe to say we can expect plenty of more details to emerge on these upcoming projects in the coming weeks.