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Suicide Squad Director Clarifies DCEU’s Robin Rumor

Batman with Robin's suit in Batman v Superman

The DC Extended Universe had a rocky to start, as Warner Bros. kickstarted a franchise to compete with the MCU. Movies like Justice League failed to connect with audiences, and altered future plans for the franchise. One of the big questions still surrounding the DCEU is the story behind the death of Robin, who was killed before the events of Batman v Superman. And now Suicide Squad's David Ayer has clarified the ongoing debate.

Bruce Wayne is jaded and cold in Batman v Superman, as a result of his long career as a crime fighter. His motivation is at least partly explained with a Robin costume that's in the Batcave, revealing his protegee had been killed by The Joker. But which Robin died? After all, there's been plenty of versions in the comics throughout the years. And Harley's backstory in Suicide Squad only confuses things further. As such, David Ayer has weighed in on the Robin query, saying:

What is confusing? Joker killed Dick Grayson. That was Zack’s original intent.

Well, that seems pretty cut and dry. Because despite the DCEU toying with a potential Nightwing movie at some point, it looks like the dead robin in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is none other than OG Robin Dick Grayson. We'll just have to see if we get more information about that plot line in Justice League's Snyder Cut.

David Ayer cleared things up over on his personal Twitter, which the Suicide Squad director often uses to communicate with the fans. The subject matter is often on his DC movie, and the factors that contributed to his vision never making it to theaters. Ayer was aware of the debate about Robin in Batman v Superman, which has been reignited since the Snyder Cut's upcoming arrival. But both he and Zack Snyder have officially confirmed that Dick Grayson who perished at the hands of The Joker.

Robin's death has been referenced a handful of times in the DCEU, although it's never been explicitly explained exactly how it all went down. Aside from the costume's ominous presence in Batman v Superman, there's also a quick mention of the murder in Suicide Squad. While introducing the character Harley Quinn, the movie lists being an accomplice to Robin's death as one of her many criminal offenses. But David Ayer has since explained that this was added in by the studio against his will, and that it basically messed up the shared universe's timeline in the process.

But Jared Leto's Joker was the man who killed Dick Grayson, although the details are still murky. Robin's death is also why the Suicide Squad character has his signature silver grill, after his teeth were knocked out by a furious Batman. Joker's forehead tattoo "damaged" is a reference to this encounter, and another jab at Gotham's Protector. As such, there's no way Harley could have been an accomplice to Robin's death, since their flashbacks include the teeth and ink.

But the dead Robin is indeed Dick Grayson, in stark juxtaposition to the comic books. On the page its Robin 2.0 Jason Todd who is killed by Joker in the famous "A Death in the Family" plot line. Meanwhile, Dick Grayson would become a superhero in how own right as Nightwing. But Zack Snyder turned these expectations on their head, as the filmmaker is wont to do.

The next installment in the DCEU is Wonder Woman 1984 on October 2nd. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.