Christopher Nolan has mentioned on several occasions that he has no interest in featuring the character of Robin in any of his Batman films. However, that hasn't stopped some fans from passionately defending the iconic sidekick's place in the Caped Crusader's mythology or offering suggestions on how he would best fit into Nolan's version of Gotham City.
Since The Dark Knight Rises is being crafted as the concluding chapter of a trilogy, there's been a lot of speculation over how this storyline might wrap up. The Dark Knight hammered home the notion that Bruce does not want to continue wearing the cape & cowl forever and as a result, justification for introducing Robin has reached a fever pitch.
If you fall on the pro-Robin side of the debate, some encouraging news has just appeared on the web site of Michigan's WILX. Crew members from The Dark Knight Rises have been scouting locations for the film in Grand Ledge and in addition to detailing where they've been looking, WILX also claims to know what they've been searching for:
"They looked at the Ledges as well as a water treatment plant located inside the park. Sources say the area is being considered as a hideout for Batman sidekick Robin."
Now obviously this isn't any sort of official confirmation, but it is slightly more credible than some other recent rumors. If this does turn out to be true, will we finally have an answer regarding which role Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be playing in the film? Our own Rob Frappier recently explored that question and speculated that Dick Grayson (the original Robin) was certainly a possibility, but that his Nightwing alter-ego seemed more appropriate for Nolan's universe (and Gordon-Levitt's age).
Following the time frame of Batman's career that's been established in the comics, this would be a logical point to introduce Robin - but I highly doubt Nolan feels obligated to adhere that closely to the source material. Personally, I always thought the character seemed at odds with the current franchise's sensibilities - but Nolan does love to throw his audience curve balls.
Even if The Dark Knight Rises doesn't have an ending as definitive as Bruce giving up his Batman persona, having someone else primed to inherit the role of Gotham's protector from him does make a lot of sense thematically. So even though I'm not sold on the idea of Robin making an appearance, I do understand how he might potentially factor into this story in a very organic way.
The other thing to consider is that even if Robin is in the film, he'll likely be presented in a completely different manner than we're accustomed to seeing him (much like Two-Face and the Joker). In fact, I believe one of the major reasons Nolan was so excited about The Dark Knight was the opportunity to reinvent the Joker. Might the same be true for Robin?
We'll keep you updated on how this pans out.
The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters on July 20, 2012.