DC’s Choice of Robin for Upcoming ‘Batman’ Reboot Questioned by Fans

in DC, Movies

Michael Keaton as Batman in The Flash trailer on the left and Robin Character on the right

Credit: Inside the Magic

James Gunn has a plan for Robin — that maybe isn’t the best.

Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne in The Batman looking at Damian Wayne DC Comics side eye DCU
Credit: Warner Bros./DC Comics

Related: Potential ‘Superman: Legacy’ Cast Revealed For James Gunn’s New DCU

After the merger of Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) last year, significant changes took place within the company, resulting in the replacement of Walter Hamada, the former head of DC. Instead, James Gunn, a Marvel director famous for helming the Guardians of the Galaxy series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), was appointed as the new DC Studios head, alongside Peter Safran. It’s worth noting that Gunn has prior experience in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), now renamed the DC Universe (DCU), and has worked on projects like the highly acclaimed The Suicide Squad (2021). It’s important to distinguish this film from the earlier Suicide Squad (2016) which featured Jared Leto as the Joker.

Credit: DC Comics

As part of the DCU’s new Chapter One – Gods and Monsters, James Gunn is planning to do a mostly clean “reboot” of the former DCEU. Currently, most is known about the DCU’s first official entry, Superman: Legacy, which was written by Gunn (and seemingly completed), right before the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike that has hit Hollywood. Rumors about casting the titular Superman/Clark Kent and his lover Lois Lane have abound — but what we do know more certainly is that Superman: Legacy will follow a younger Clark Kent as he navigates his role as Superman. But the next big superhero reboot after that? Gunn has announced that it’s none other than Batman — but with a bit of a twist.

The new DCU Batman reboot

Michael Keaton as Batman in The Flash trailer
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Related: Report: DC Gets Rid Of “Snyderverse”, ‘Justice League’ for Good

Instead of the (now standard) Batman “origin story” featuring the dramatic deaths of Bruce Wayne’s parents, Martha Wayne and Thomas Wayne, and Bruce Wayne’s transformation and journey to becoming the Dark Knight à la Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005) and the Dark Knight Trilogy, it seems like Gunn is refusing to stick to the same tried and true formula when it comes to Gotham’s iconic hero.

Straying away from Ben Affleck’s Batman from Snyder’s Justice League era as well, Gunn came forward to talk about how the new reboot, currently titled The Brave and the Bold, will be a “story of Batman and his actual son, Damian Wayne”.

According to Gunn in his dive into the details of DCU’s new “Chapter 1”, the new The Brave and the Bold movie will be based on “Grant Morrison’s great comic book run”. This movie will re-introduce an iconic sidekick to the DC film fold once again — in the form of a young Robin. This version of Robin will also bring in the iconic “Bat Family” from the comics — a superhero family of ex-and-current adopted Robins, and close friends and family of Bruce Wayne.

Why are fans worried about DCU’s new Robin choice?

With The Flash (2023) director Andy Muschietti set to direct The Brave and the Bold, what’s got fans worried isn’t the fact that Gunn wants to introduce the Bat Family to the DC Universe — in fact, fans are rather excited. What most have issues with is the particular choice of Robin that Gunn wants to begin, in what is likely to be a whole new “Bat Family”-centric era of Batman films, with Bruce Wayne in the role of “the dad”.

Batman (Ben Affleck) and The Flash (Ezra Miller)
Credit: Warner Bros.

In his statement about Chapter 1, Gunn cites the biological son of Batman and daughter of League of Assassins’ founder Ra’s al Ghul — Talia al Ghul (portrayed by Marion Cotillard in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises (2012)), as The Brave and the Bold‘s Robin character. He explains how Damian Wayne is a “little assassin” whom Bruce Wayne has to try to “get in line”:

Damian Wayne is my favorite Robin, he’s a little assassin who Batman tries to get in line and so this is the story of the two of them, and the beginning of sort of the Bat Family in the DCU.

But the issue that many fans have with this is the fact that Damian Wayne is the youngest of the Bat Family, being the fourth Robin of the entire bunch. At the time of Damian Wayne’s stint as Batman’s Robin, the other ex-Robins have essentially left to become their own heroes and set out on their own adventures, returning to aid Batman when necessary. As a result, many fans seem upset that this particular story, set significantly later in the accepted “Batman” canon and timeline, is the one chosen to be brought to the silver screen — because it means all the other Robins and Bat Family members will likely be glossed over.

Naturally, this also insinuates that Batman in this reboot will be older than expected — specifically, older than “newbie” Superman/Clark Kent — and many just can’t seem to grapple with a possibly 50-year-old Batman debuting in the reboot DCU movies. Insider source CanWeGetSomeToast brings up the possible backlash Gunn will face:

@CanWeGetToast: Makes sense, but I just don’t see a 35-40 year old Bruce if we’re getting Damian Wayne. Maybe a decade older?

I just don’t see Gunn OR Muschietti skipping the first three Robins and all their history with Bruce to make Damian his first Robin. There would be too much backlash.

(quote tweet) @notomiwa: hopefully not old lol if they’re really doing this for multiple years surely you want someone around 35-40 to be the lead

Users like @whoiskayotic are pointing out exactly why this is a bad idea — highlighting how “rushing through” all the Robins’ stories “isn’t the move” — but nor is starting with Batman’s canonical first adoptee/ward:

i keep saying the best move is to have tim drake as robin, dick grayson as nightwing and then in the 3rd movie they could introduce damian (after doing a red hood movie)

(continued) starting with dick grayson would suck because we’d have to wait forever to see the rest of the robins so it makes sense not to use him first, but rushing towards damian isn’t the move either

Yet, others disagreed that this was a problem. @notomiwa pointed out that the other three Robins could simply be “condensed” — especially if Batman is shown to have started superhero-ing at a younger age of around 20:

i think they’d just condense the the three robins into a shorter period of time, if they say bruce became batman at 20 that’s still 15 years of backstory

At the end of the day, we have no way of knowing exactly how Gunn will lay all of this out — perhaps he’s rearranging the order of the Robins’ appearances, or simply condensing time. No matter what, it’s almost guaranteed that this version of Batman will be markedly different from any past iterations — and probably miles away from Robert Pattinson’s gritty portrayal in Matt Reeves’ The Batman (2022).

What do you think about DC’s choice of the Robin character? Are you excited for The Brave and the Bold? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

in DC, Movies

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