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Why You Shouldn't Expect Multiple Robins in the DCEU

Telling a Proper Robin Story Requires Too Much Screen Time

As we can see from these brief summaries, the backstory of any one Robin could be a movie unto itself, and doing each character justice could require each to have their own trilogy. Damian Wayne and Jason Todd have already merited animated movies based upon their lives - Son of Batman and Batman: Under The Red Hood, respectively. Even the stories of those films were heavily altered and simplified from the original comic books. Adapting any Robin after Grayson is especially problematic, as it also requires the introduction and development of the Robin that previously held the mantle.

Despite seemingly having the simplest background of the Robins, Dick Grayson poses his own unique set of problems. While his origins as Robin are simpler and more widely known, they still demand a lengthy treatment to be done justice. Even "Robin's Reckoning" - considered by many to be the definitive retelling of Dick Grayson's origins in any medium - required two whole episodes of Batman: The Animated Series to properly relate.

Dick Grayson also poses a problem as the Robin with the greatest amount of experience as a crime-fighter outside of Batman's shadow. Dick Grayson was the Robin who founded the first two incarnations of the Teen Titans and is usually the incarnation of Robin depicted as leading the team in other media. Indeed, Brendon Thwaites will be playing Dick Grayson in the upcoming Titans television series for the DC Universe streaming service.

Related: Titans Should Be Set in the DCEU

Grayson is also notable for having a falling out with Batman and, after being denied the use of the Robin name and costume, taking up the identity of Nightwing to strike out as his own man. There have been persistent rumors of a Nightwing solo movie being filmed by director Chris McKay, but the film has not been officially green-lit by Warner Brothers. Even then, it is unclear if this movie would be set in the same reality as the earlier films or if it would be in its own world.

Robin is Traditionally Too Young For an Age Appropriate Adaptation

DC Comics Robin by Jim Lee

Another problem posed by bringing Robin into a Batman movie is one of simple logistics and modern standards. Back in the Golden Age of Comic Books, when Robin was first introduced, nobody thought twice about the idea of throwing a prepubescent boy into battle with armed thugs. While the exact age of the various Robins has changed over the years, Dick Grayson was originally said to be 8 years old when he became Bruce Wayne's ward. Damian Wayne is said to have had his growth accelerated so he now has the body of a ten-year-old, whereas Tim Drake was 13 when he took up Robin's mantle.

Even in the 1990s movie studios thought better of depicting such things, with a then 25-year old Chris O'Donnell playing a Robin old enough to drive a motorcycle in Batman Forever. Even ignoring the various moral guardians who would object to this sort of thing being depicted in a Batman movie today (as they did in response to the character of Hit-Girl in the film adaptation of the graphic novel Kick-Ass), it is unlikely that audiences will buy a young Robin in any remotely grounded live-action film.

Combining the Robins Makes a Lot of Sense

One possible solution to the conundrum of which Robin to bring into the movies is to create a gestalt Robin, who borrows traits from the backstories of all of the comic book Robins, which may have actually been what Zack Snyder was working towards with his dead Robin. The vast majority of movie-goers only know about Dick Grayson anyway. This method has already been used once to great effect by The New Batman Adventures animated series, which introduced a new Robin named Tim Drake who utilized the backstory of Jason Todd - although for the DCEU it would make sense for him to be Dick Grayson.

While it is unclear just what the future may hold for Robin in the Worlds of DC, it seems clear that Robin does have a future. Ignoring the rumors of a Nightwing solo-movie, the character is too popular to remain a memory in Batman's past. It makes sense for Robin to get a big screen treatment in the DCEU, but unless Warner Bros is willing to give the Bat Family an entire cinematic universe of movies to themselves (which seems less and less likely), it's hard to envision more than one or two of the Robins being fully realized.

More: Matt Reeves' The Batman Should Introduce the DCEU's Robin

Key Release Dates
  • Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
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