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Dick Goes to Hollywood




I was listening to the latest TBU Podcast the other day and the classic “would Robin work in a Batman film” discussion arose again. From what I understand, most people are for the idea but don’t know how he could be implemented in an effective way. I did like Melinda’s idea of establishing the character before jumping forward in time to where the age of the character might not be such an issue for some people, but I think that Robin can be brought in to the Batman film universe sooner than the reboot. I believe that there is an opportunity to include Robin in Man of Steel 2, or at the very least for Dick Grayson to make an appearance.


If we look at DC continuity, specifically the New 52, it is established that Batman has been working for five years but as an urban legend; it takes the outing of Superman for him to reveal himself. If this is the case in the movie universe, we won’t have to worry about an origin story for one (which is great) but by that point, we could say Batman has a Robin, or at least a Robin in training. Depending on the interactions between Batman and Superman in the film, we could be introduced to a young Dick Grayson, maybe training in the Batcave or travelling with Bruce as his son. I don’t think we need to see a Robin in ‘Man of Steel 2’ and I don’t think there’ll be a place for him, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reference him. We don’t even need to see his origin; just the presence of a boy in the Batcave is enough to establish the character. The only issue with this is the reaction to ‘Man of Steel’ as before I’d be able to say: “don’t treat us like idiots, we all know the origin and if not, we have the ability to research”, but after so many complaints of “it jumps around too much”, maybe the mainstream audience would need to see an origin for Robin, but that could be saved for Batman’s next solo film.


A common comment about the relationship between Batman and Robin is how “creepy” it is, my co-hosts even used that phrase, but I disagree. Not to disparage my partners, as there is admittedly a stigma, but the relationship only seems to be referred to in that way when looked at with a certain perspective. If people were mature enough to look past this, I see no reason why Robin couldn’t be a child. Given both Bruce and Dick’s childhoods, and Bruce’s wealth, I don’t think the real world would look upon it as disturbing if Bruce were to adopt Dick. I don’t think the ward angle could work anymore but I believe people would understand Bruce’s adoption of Dick after his parents’ death as an empathetic act. Even the most cynical followers of the story wouldn’t be calling deviancy, but rather the playboy Bruce Wayne is simply looking for another angle to attract women with.


If you don’t buy the adoption of Dick Grayson route, what about Robin being Damian? Sure it messes with continuity a little, but at least it’s a real character and really Batman’s son. That way there is absolutely no angle to attack Bruce for foul play, the only issue there is that why would Bruce endanger his child’s life for no reason? Whereas with Dick he is empathetic of his need for revenge which he turns in to a way to avenge all the wrong doing in Gotham. So maybe Damian wouldn’t work, but I believe the point I just made strengthens the argument for why Dick would work. It’s not like Batman is grabbing a kid off the streets and turning him in to ‘Hit Girl’, he is recognizing that there is anger and pain in a boy and instead of letting that eat at him and destroy him, he teaches him to use it as fuel for doing good throughout Gotham, as we’ve seen in so many great interpretations of Robin’s origin.


So what I’m saying is there is definitely a place for a Robin in the Batman film universe and a young Robin at that; I don’t think it could be considered odd especially if we look again at Melinda’s idea. I would like to see a young Dick Grayson, training in the Batcave in ‘Man of Steel 2’, I would love to see him in costume as he trains but we don’t need to see him actually fighting crime as there will be no place for him considering the scale of the film (it is still a Superman film after all). After that, when it comes to the next Batman film we can make a jump in time to where Robin is a little older, not Chris O’Donnell older, but at least to an age where the audience isn’t questioning child endangerment laws.


I would love to see Robin in a Batman film, and I want him young and enthusiastic, I know they’ll mute it as they did with Superman, and I know they won’t put him in trunks and pixie boots, but I want a colourful Robin, not a Batman clone. I know it will be very dependent on the tone of the film and they’ll want to stay as far away from ‘Batman and Robin’ as possible, but if we could inject a sense of fun in to the franchise, I’d be the first one in line to buy a ticket.


What do you guys think? Is there a place for Robin in the Batman movie universe? When and at what age would you introduce him, if at all?


Posted by Joe Jinks

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  • Jon

    I think if you are going to do Robin the one place I actually don't want him to be is in the next superman movie. While I agree with you it would be nice to see him in a batman film. I am not so sure that the character would work from the off in the film even just a reference as it then starts to turn it into a batman film rather than a superman film. We have already had questions like which batman villains will we see? Is the Joker going to be in it? I think the focus needs to be on Superman and he needs to be the centre of the film. 


    I would rather have robin in the Batman reboot as a slightly older Robin who has been working with Batman for a while. I think it will work there as they plan to return it to its more comic book origins. Or in the Arrow TV series

    • Joe Jinks

      I definitely agree with you that the film is, and needs to remain, a Superman film at its core but I did say "depending on the interactions between Batman and Superman". What I meant by that was that if the situation arose, most likely a scene taking place in the Batcave, I would like to see a young Dick Grayson in training to acknowledge the character before the jump to an older Robin in the next Batman film. I certainly don't think any screen time should be taken away from Superman to establish a Robin character. Even less would I like to see a Batman villain take centre stage, although I definitely could see the opening of the film taking place in Gotham with a rooftop chase between Batman and one of his lower tier rogues before Superman shows up asking if he needs any help.

  • Donovan Grant

    I've always subscribed to the idea that making him a teenager at about age 15 or 16 would be fine. He'd be underage but not egregiously so, where people could buy it more than the mainstream idea of a little kid in a costume.

  • Jon

    I think you mean that it would be like the scene in New Frontier where Superman is in the cave and meets robin. To which I still say no I don't think he should even be there. I really think Batman should be a very back seat character and for Robin to appear in the Batman movie. I do agree with your last comment though Joe. I would like to see Superman travel to Gotham and help take down one of Batman more super powered villains preferably Croc

  • Adam Rogers

    I don't see why Batman needs to take THAT much of a backseat; when Snyder announced it, he made a REALLY big deal out of it has even stated that he wants Batman to be older and wiser and to basically teach Superman a few tricks. If he has a bit part, I don't see how he could do all that. And I don't really think the mere existence of Dick Grayson in a single scene would change the tone that much or rob Superman of the attention due to him in his own flick either.

    I think that's a great idea to have Dick Grayson adopted at the same age as in the comics and (these details wouldn't need to be in the Superman film–more like backstory in Batman's film(s)) have him wait a couple years before he even finds out that Bruce is Batman and then start training and not be allowed to become his sidekick until he's in high school or something like that. I think that would be great!

    • Joe Jinks

      I just hope they get the balance right; I love the idea of Bruce being more experienced and imparting knowledge to Clark but I also want it to remain a Superman film. We're already getting people calling it 'Superman/Batman' instead of 'Man of Steel 2' and I thing Snyder did an amazing job of hyping up the film but I would still like to see Batman take the back seat. I think it could be a really interesting to not focus on the more experienced character. I believe we'll also get a lot of Bruce Wayne in the film which I think will work really well, especially if we're seeing Bruce take on Lex Luthor.