Matt Reeves confirms the casting of Andy Serkis in the next Batman

Andy Serkis arrives for FX Network 'StarWalks' TCA Summer Tour on August 6, 2019, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

The actor who brought us the voice of Gollum will be the new Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's legendary valet, confirmed the director on Twitter.

Production of "The Batman" is set to begin before the end of the year, with a view to a theatrical release in June 2021. Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz also feature in the cast for this latest offering from the Caped Crusader.

Little by little, details of the production for the next Batman to be directed by Matt Reeves are being revealed.

Negotiations between Andy Serkis and the producers of the project, reported by the American media earlier this month, have come to a successful conclusion.

The news was announced by the director himself, who published a gif of Andy Serkis on his Twitter account on Wednesday, November 13 with the caption "And here comes #Alfred."

"The Lord of the Rings" actor will therefore take on the role of Alfred Pennyworth, loyal valet of Bruce Wayne aka Batman. Andy Serkis will play opposite Robert Pattinson who garnered the film's leading role.

The director Matt Reeves has already announced Jeffrey Wright ("Westworld") as Commissioner Gordon, Zoe Kravitz ("Big Little Lies") as Catwoman and Paul Dano ("Escape at Dannemora") as Edward Nashton.

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Rumours have circulated to the effect that Colin Farrell may be cast as Penguin, one of Batman's arch enemies, but none of this has been officially confirmed either by the production or the director himself, who has taken charge of announcing these developments on Twitter.

Although the film is due for release on June 25, 2021, no details of the plot of this umpteenth Batman story have been divulged. Shooting for the project  is expected to begin in 2019 or early 2020.

"The Batman" will reunite the talents of Serkis and Reeves who have worked together in the past: notably on "War for the Planet of the Apes" ( 2017 ) and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" in which Serkis played major roles.

Batman's most recent outing in theatres was in the 2017 "Justice League," if we do not count a brief moment when we see him as a child in Todd Phillips' "Joker."

Ben Affleck played the Caped Crusader in this crossover movie, which harvested 650 million dollars in sales worldwide, an amount largely exceeded by the previous "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" ( 2016 ), which took in 872 million dollars (S$1.2 billion) of box-office receipts.