One of the more notable shots in the latest Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer features Bruce Wayne looking at a Robin suit that had been defaced with the words, "HAHAHAHA Joke’s On You, Batman!" This confirmed long-held suspicions that, as in the comics, this universe’s Batman lost a Robin at The Joker’s hand. This also lends more credence to reports of a flashback showing how Robin met his gruesome end, and now we may know the identity of the actor playing the Boy Wonder in said scene.
A new rumor from Heroic Hollywood states that director Zack Snyder’s son, Eli Snyder, may be playing the young Robin in a flashback scene with Jared Leto’s Joker. Snyder already has experience in his father’s films, having previously played young Leonidas in 300 and young Rorschach in Watchmen (as seen below). As the article notes, Snyder has the athletisicm and physicality to play the young Robin from his time playing football in high school and soon at UCLA. If true, this will make Snyder the third actor to play Robin on the big screen following Burt Ward in Batman: The Movie and Chris O’Donnell in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin (no, I’m not counting John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises).
Although this casting rumor is intriguing, it still doesn’t answer the question which dead Robin he’ll be playing. Jason Todd, the second Robin in the comics, seems like the likeliest candidate, taking into account how he was brutally murdered by The Joker in the 1988 story A Death in the Family. However, back in April there was a photo leaked online that showed a gravestone with the name Dick Grayson imprinted on it. Grayson, of course, was the first Robin, so maybe unlike his comic book counterpart, Bruce has only had one sidekick in this universe.
While The Joker killing Dick would certainly be logical from a storytelling perspective, it seems unlikely for this movie, and the tombstone may be deliberately misleading. For one thing, in the comics Dick eventually becomes Nightwing, and now that we have a Batman that’s been at the crime fighting game for 20+ years, it would be a wasted opportunity not to show Batman’s first partner having made that transition from sidekick to superhero equal. More importantly, however, is that in the comics, Jason was revived in 2005 as The Red Hood, and has gone on to become a foe/anti-hero to the Bat family - which would make an excellent material for the new Batman film reportedly on the way. Whoever the deceased Robin is in this universe, we know that despite being haunted by the boy’s passing, Bruce keeps the Robin suit in a display case as a reminder of his failure and as motivation to keep fighting.
We’ll learn the circumstances of Robin’s death when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters on March 25, 2016.
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