Matt Reeves’ The Batman is primed to look and feel a lot different than its predecessors, right down to who will be training Bruce Wayne to fight Gotham City’s most notorious villains.
We know that Batman traveled the world prior to taking on the mantle of Gotham’s savior. He acquired a number of skills and fighting techniques that have helped him take on the likes of the Joker and others. In Batman Begins, it was Ra’s Al Ghul who trained the dark knight. However, a new leak reveals a surprising change in mentor for The Batman.
An anonymous Reddit user recently shared an unverfied leak about The Batman. Previously, this same anonymous leaker shared information regarding Warner Bros. possibly building a Batcave that included a helicopter pad and ceiling entrance. Now, they're suggesting Alfred will be depicted as a former Commando Engineer with the royal marines who will teach Bruce everything he knows in the movie, “from hand-to-hand combat to weapons handling.”
Once again, this leak has no verified source and should be taken as lightly as Mr. Freeze’s ice puns in Batman & Robin. That said, it’s hard not to be intrigued by such a unique change. After all, Alfred Pennyworth has typically been depicted only as Bruce’s caretaker, father figure, and moral compass in every Batman movie thus far.
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy revealed Alfred had a military background, but the character was never shown guiding Bruce in any training or combat techniques. When Bruce left to travel the world, Alfred did not accompany him. Instead, the Caped Crusader crossed paths with Ra’s Al Ghul, who taught him everything he needed to know before returning to Gotham. If this leak proves true, The Batman will offer Alfred a bigger role in shaping Batman's identity as a vigilante.
In the comics, Alfred has a history as an ex-Special Operations Executive, a secret World War II organization responsible for spying on the Axis powers and supporting local resistance efforts. He’s well-versed in hand-to-hand combat and knows his way around weaponry. While Alfred’s background is rarely depicted in the Batman films, the Epix TV series Pennyworth is set during this era of Alfred’s pre-Batman life.
The Inverse Analysis — It’s not at all far-fetched to believe that Alfred might be the one to train Bruce in The Batman. Batman Begins relied heavily on the League of Assassins to provide Bruce with his skills, but Alfred teaching Bruce how to fight makes a lot of sense given his comic book history. It could provide another layer to their already dynamic relationship. It’s possible we might even get to see Alfred manning the comms while Batman is out patrolling.
The Batman is set during Bruce’s early years as the caped crusader, so it’s possible Alfred will train him knowing that he has no other mentors yet. Who else would Bruce go to, if not his father figure? Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but it would definitely be an exciting change from previous iterations of the character.
The Batman comes to theaters October 1, 2021.