Principal photography on Robert Pattin’s The Batman is currently on hold, and the film’s release has been pushed back by four months. There isn’t that much known about the upcoming reboot, but we have gotten a glimpse at the sensibility director Matt Reeves might bring to the storied comic book movie franchise. We also know that Reeves is envisioning his take on Batman as a trilogy, like the one directed by Christopher Nolan. Unlike The Dark Knight Trilogy, Robin is rumored to play a prominent role alongside Pattinson’s Batman.
We’ve had our fair share of live-action Batman films over the years with The Dark Knight Trilogy and the DC Extended Universe flicks. However, one major element that has been missing from both of these versions is a Robin. While Brenton Thwaites has done a great job at playing Dick Grayson on DC Universe’s Titans, the last time we saw the character on the big screen was in 1997’s Batman & Robin. Not only is it time for Robin to appear on the big screen once again, but it’s also essential for Batman’s growth into reaching his prime.
The Dark Knight Trilogy is going to be hard to top with Nolan giving us a definitive take on Batman, but there’s a big hole missing with Robin’s absence. I’m also not willing to count Robin J0hn Blake, either, since it’s more of an homage to the character. Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice acknowledges a history with Robin, but the DC Extended Universe is still missing an exploration of their relationship.
So far, we know that Robert Pattinson’s Batman will be in his second year as the Caped Crusader and is not the seasoned crime fighter that we saw with Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne. However, Nolan’s trilogy was in the same vein as The Batman at first, but we eventually got an eight-year time jump with The Dark Knight Rises. Matt Reeves is also looking to explore the detective side of Batman, something that has been missing in past DC Comics films. Based on the images we’ve seen from the film, it also looks like Reeves is going with a grounded Batman just like The Dark Knight Trilogy. You could argue this is the reason why Robin never appeared in those films, because a young kid fighting crime can be deemed unrealistic, but I think there’s a way to make it work for this next trilogy.
For all we know, The Batman could be far more comic booky than we realize, but I’m going on the assumption that the film is going for something more realistic based on what we’ve seen from it so far. Since Robert Pattinson’s Batman will be on his way to becoming the world’s greatest detective, I think a neat direction to take the character in at some point in the trilogy would be to have him investigate the death of the Flying Graysons.
Robin’s origin is often intertwined with Gotham mobsters that will be a part of The Batman. Matt Reeves’ Batman world looks like it will already have that element with John Turturro playing Carmine Falcone, so introducing Tony Zuko wouldn’t be far-fetched. However, another direction Reeves and co. could go in with Robin is by tying his origin to The Court of Owls.
The Batman is going to feature many villains that have previously been seen in live-action, but the members of the Court of Owls from Scott Snyder’s New 52 run are ripe for the big screen. In the comics, we learn that Haly’s Circus is a front for The Court of Owls with Dick Grayson in-line to become the next Talon. Reeves could take the character in a direction where Dick is actually trained by The Court of Owls and it’s up to Batman to save him.
Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne could also be using Dick Grayson as a part of his investigation into the Court of Owls, with a young Dick doing some work of his own behind Bruce’s back as seen in the Batman: The Animated Series episode “Robin’s Reckoning.” Either way, bringing The Court of Owls into the story in a very natural way to introduce Robin, even if it is a little bit supernatural.
Another major question is how old should Dick Grayson be when he eventually makes his cinematic return? Kick-Ass is a good example of how you can pull off a young kid beating criminals to a pulp with Hit-Girl, but again, this is all based on Reeves’ tone. A high-school aged Dick Grayson could work well in a more realistic sense as long as he is under 18-years-old and in-need of a parental guardian. We could also get a point in the story where Dick has the chance to leave, but instead commits to Bruce’s goal.
I don’t think there needs to be a rush for Dick Grayson to become Robin either. Since we aren’t getting a straight up origin story with Robert Pattinson’s Batman, that gives Matt Reeves the opportunity to take his time to develop Dick Grayson into the Boy Wonder. While Chris O’Donnell’s Dick Grayson is a bit too old as a college student, his inclusion at the end of Batman Forever is something Reeves can use as inspiration to great effect.
The Batman and Robin relationship is one of the greatest in all of comics and is an essential part of Bruce Wayne’s journey. The Batman will feature a Catwoman, so this could ignite Bruce’s need for a full-time ally in the trilogy down the line. We have yet to get a definitive on-screen version of the Batman and Robin relationship and given Matt Reeves’ love for the Adam West Batman television series, I think there’s a good chance that it’s a part of his plan. Robin’s inclusion also opens up the doors for some compelling storytelling in the process that can set it apart from the different film interpretations of Batman that we have gotten in the past with a great Batman trilogy that includes his greatest ally.
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