Why DC's Brave And The Bold Movie Shouldn't Exclude Robin From Appearing In Matt Reeves' The Batman Franchise
One doesn't have to prevent the other from happening.
Today was a big day for DC Comics fans thanks to DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran announcing to the press the first round of DC movies and TV shows that comprise their vision for this superhero franchise, which has been dubbed “Gods and Monsters.” Some of the highlights include Superman: Legacy coming in 2025, Swamp Thing heading back to the big screen and shows like Lanterns, Creature Commandos, Paradise Lost and Booster Gold in development exclusively for HBO Max subscribers. For Batman fans though, the two key pieces of news are that The Batman: Part II is slated for October 3, 2025, and The Brave and the Bold will not only introduce the new DC Universe’s Caped Crusader, but also feature Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s biological son, as its Robin.
It’s been 26 years since Robin has been seen in a live-action DC movie (no, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John “Robin” Blake in The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t count), so it’s good to hear that the character will finally get to shine on a cinematic platform again. Plus, Damian Wayne has assembled a sizable fanbase in the years since he was created by writer Grant Morrison and artist Andy Kubert. However, I’m hoping that The Brave and the Bold’s existence doesn’t exclude the possibility of The Batman franchise, which is set in a different continuity, utilizing its own Robin for a number of reasons.
Dick Grayson Can Easily Be The Batman Franchise’s Robin
Robin is one of those superhero identities that’s been passed to multiple people over the decades. Dick Grayson was the first to take on the mantle, and he’s been followed in the main DC Comics timeline by Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne. So since Damian Wayne has things covered on the Robin front for The Brave and the Bold, it’d be easy enough to slot Dick in as the Robin to fight crime alongside Robert Pattinson’s Batman.
Frankly, I’m not convinced we won’t see Dick Grayson in The Brave and the Bold, because if Damian Wayne is Robin, that indicates this his father is old enough to have had at least one Robin, if not several. As such, maybe we might see Dick stop by this particular DC movie as Nightwing. But as far as The Batman franchise is concerned, Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne is at just the right age when he’d cross paths with Dick. He’s been protecting Gotham City for a few years now, and it’s easy enough to set up Bruce witnessing the deaths of Dick’s parents and taking in the adolescent. While Damian does his thing in The Brave and the Bold, use The Batman franchise to spotlight Dick in an effective way that Batman Forever and Batman & Robin failed to do.
Titans Has Shown A Darker Interpretation Of Robin Can Work
I think we can all agree that The Batman is the darkest Batman movie yet, figuratively and literally. As such, that might lead some to think that this isn’t the right kind of setting to bring in Robin, but I disagree with that. Over the last several years, the Titans has shown that Robin can be handled with a darker hand while still staying true to the spirit of the character. That HBO Max show (which is ending later this year alongside Doom Patrol) has delivered faithful, yet unquestionably adult versions of both Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, who’ve both first been seen as Robin before respectfully transitioning into Nightwing and Red Hood. Even Tim Drake has been thrown into the mix, although it seems doubtful at this point that he’ll suit up as Robin.
I’m not saying that The Batman franchise needs to take all its cues from Titans with adapting Robin, but there’s a fine balance between that and seeing a 10-year-old kid hopping around in red, yellow and green circus tights cracking one-liners. I have faith that Matt Reeves hit the right balance in his DC continuity of not making Robin too jokey, but also not just turning him into a carbon copy of the brooding man who’s training him to kick bad guy ass.
Robin Can Boost Robert Pattinson’s Batman As A Symbol Of Hope
Throughout The Batman, Bruce Wayne’s main goal was to strike fear into the hearts of Gotham City’s criminals, and we wouldn’t expect anything less from the Dark Knight. However, by the end of that movie, Bruce realized it wasn’t enough to just terrify the lawbreakers in his city; he also needed to inspire hope in the people he was protecting. What good is your crusade against evil if you not only can’t convince the public that better days are ahead, but that some see you as being just as bad as the very criminals you’re fighting, if not worse?
Batman had already taken the first steps towards being a symbol of hope for the people of Gotham City, and having Robin by his side can further help him with this. As I noted in the previous section, I don’t want to see a Robin in The Batman universe who’s acting along the lines of Burt Ward’s version from the 1960s Batman TV show, but the Boy Wonder can nonetheless serve as a beacon of light to help improve Batman’s reputation. And on a more personal level, having Robin around as a sidekick and surrogate son will ideally put Bruce on a path to becoming a mentally healthier person.
Audiences Would Get To See Different Kinds Of Batman/Robin Dynamics
Multiple Robins mean multiple kind of dynamics between whoever’s rocking that superhero identity and Batman. In Dick Grayson’s case, Bruce took him under his wing after his parents died so Dick wouldn’t follow the same pageful path that Bruce did when Thomas and Martha Wayne were gunned down. Bruce pushes Dick to be the best he can be, but Dick also gives Bruce a different perspective on matters, oftentimes more optimistic. Then you have Damian Wayne, who never had a normal childhood because his mother and grandfather raised him to be an assassin. It’s up to Bruce to curb his son’s violent tendencies, but every now and then, Damian delivers a blunt opinion that leads to his father reexamining things or taking a different course of action.
So naturally there’s room for The Brave and the Bold and The Batman film series to stand out with their depictions of the Dynamic Duo. In one corner, audiences can watch an older Batman take Damian Wayne under his wing and train him as the latest in (presumably) a long line of Robins, while in another corner, we can watch Robert Pattinson’s learn how to work with someone else in the field for the first time, with both Dick and Damian each having unique qualities to bring to the table. If one of these pairings isn’t to your liking, you can simply turn to the other, but ideally both these Batman/Robin pairings would be well received.
Keep your eyes peeled on CinemaBlend for updates on The Brave and the Bold and The Batman: Part II, including if the latter ends up including Robin. You can also peruse our breakdown of the upcoming DC movies to see what else this corner of the superhero movie market has coming up.
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