I loved Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but I’ll say this, and I’ll probably get some haters, but WB shot themselves in the foot establishing a way too realistic Batman. Marvel killed it at the box office while expanding their cinematic universe of super heroes. WB, well, established a Bat Man.
Nolan’s Batman was damn near flawless. His execution proved something as epic as Batman could exist in this world…just not with intergalactic aliens and space cops. So where they could have been ahead of the game and had a Batman at Justice League status, WB spent six years establishing a franchise they already retired and are now playing catch up with Disney.
Green Lantern was WB with a tail between their legs. Picture “lotion in the basket” if you would. They knew, crap, this Batman we started is not OUR Iron Man, but we HAVE to catch up somehow! And unfortunately, Green Lantern suffered the same demise as Superman Returns and was not the beginning to something more. Something WB could expand.
An 800 million dollar weekend is the only reason we’re getting Justice League this fast, but by no means, Flash fast. Marvel knocked it out of the park and there’s only one way DC could execute a cinematic universe without 100% copying their formula. Taking the two biggest names in comic book history, the World’s Finest, and throwing them in a film together. Heck, it’s their smartest move and maybe only one. Better to showcase a Batman could work with supers in a Superman film, than test the waters in a balls out Justice League. This movie will have the same level of epicness seeing the Avengers Assembled in NYC. It could be a HUGE win.
But it won’t end there and eventually we will see new Batman films. But with 8 films and a successful origin story already in the bag, what’s left to do?
The one element we have yet to see from Batman in film, is the “father figure” or “mentor”. I’d love to see Bruce pass on the torch to a protege. Yes, I’m talking about introducing Robin. Hear me out people!
We don’t need or want another origin story. Batman doesn’t need to go the cheap route, cough cough Amazing Spider-Man and rehash what we already know in a wasted 45 minutes. You can do all that through another character. As Dick Grayson’s fate would unfold, Bruce’s past would resurface. Telling Dick just how similar their lives are is really reminding the audience, hey, this is how I became who I am in the event you skipped watching the last franchise. Bruce lives vicariously through this youngster. So do we as a viewer.
Another question. Is Dick Grayson still relevant? YES!
There’s so many characters in film and comics who need to rebooted or reinvented because it doesn’t work today. For example, Peter Parker. We have to portray him as a “different” kind of nerd because nerds are cool these days. OR (SPOILERS) Lois has to know Superman is Clark Kent because she’s a Pulitzer Prize writer (End Spoiler). Dick Grayson is a circus performer/acrobat. The kid doesn’t know fear. He can scale walls and he’s lightning quick. He has Spider-Man agility without being bit by anything radioactive. He still works even today…or as long as the Ringling Brothers is still a thing. He is who Bruce Wayne could have been if he had that kind of training. Bruce had to train for a decade to begin avenging his parents. With some guidance and established level of skill, Dick could start in a month. That I find bad assery.
Seeing that sequence with Ra’s Al Ghul training Bruce from Begins, but in the Bat Cave? With his own “personal” student, could be a lot of fun. Karate Kid fun! He might not be scrubbing floors or hanging jackets, but it be boss to see a child mastering batarangs, grappling hooks and healing remedies.
But could Robin be played by a young actor? The answer is yes, yes he certainly could and it be perfect in more ways than one.
Times have changed. Young actors can take on serious roles. We are well past the days of Home Alone and Max Keebles Big Move where they can only star in comedies. Hollywood has proven time and time again that teenagers can not only act, but certainly steal the show. Don’t believe me? Hello? Hit Girl?! And of course, Harry Potter, Super 8 and Percy Jackson (not saying this is good, it’s just doable)
And I’m not saying introduce Robin in the next film, but a post credits scene revealing Dick Grayson in a modernized costume? Pretty rad.
Another reason I think introducing Robin to the movie universe would be smart is because DC has something Marvel doesn’t. A Justice League with sidekicks. Here’s how they can one up Marvel and expand the DC Universe on a new level. You can introduce these secondary characters in another film, or even just hint at them;therefore, building up a Teen Titans franchise. Near perfect way to pick up the Harry Potter demographic. Teen Titans could be H U G E for DC IF well executed. Heck, it could even be PG and geared for all ages. Films have pushed PG envelopes and have been bad ass in the past. Star Wars anyone?
Introducing Robin in the Batman films while also including Wally West and Conner in other franchises, they’ll save mad money. You wouldn’t have to give them their own stand alone films and risk block buster failure
I might stand alone on this, but there’s so much potential here of awesomeness with sidekicks. Especially when these sidekicks progress to new heroes: Nightwing, Red Arrow, Flash, whatever older Aqua Lad becomes…which would sell even more toys!!
Plus, portraying youth as super heroes is relevant now more than ever. With these young actors in Hollywood destroying their careers, it be interesting to see that angle in the cinematic universe. Having someone as young as Robin strut into a night club because he’s hunting down his parents’ killer? He may be Robin, but he’s still underage. Just shades of gray I’d love to see explored. I mean where do you draw the line with teenagers and special abilities? How much of the law could they break and where’s the line for them? You could definitely have some interesting back in forth between Batman and Gordon. Here you have a man laying all his chips on the table for Bats and now he’s leaping roof tops with a child. And who isn’t going to grin when Commissioner says, “I have a daughter at home and I’d never in a million years allow her to see this world we live in”
How Nolan established Gotham shined with Harvey Dent. It’s why he was so integral to the last trilogy. Dent is what Gotham could be or turn into. A city of opportunity or scarred beyond recognition. So seeing Gotham consume a teenager would be just one more level of craziness in this city.
If you even bothered with this write up, what do you think? Could bringing back Robin to the big screen be an awesome move? Is it a great way to start a fresh Batman franchise? Or is it beyond trying because of Schumacher?