Considering the character’s rich history on the big screen, it’s a little bit crazy how complicated Batman movies have become in recent years. For as much as the DC Extended Universe is getting right, it can’t seem to nail down a Batman.
Ben Affleck’s exit paved the way for Robert Pattinson’s The Batman to serve as a completely separate continuity. And now reports of Michael Keaton’s Batman return complicate matters even further. Now a new rumor claims DC is looking to bring Robin back to theaters as well.
Chris O’Donnell played the big-screen version of Robin in two films
Robin the Boy Wonder is, of course, a longtime partner of Batman’s. In fact, despite the growth of Batman’s list of allies, Robin is the character most closely associated with him. But it’s been a long while since he’s suited up on the big screen.
1966’s Batman: The Movie saw Burt Ward reprise his role from the television series. But it took nearly 30 years for another actor to play Robin on the big screen. Director Joel Schumacher cast Chris O’Donnell as Dick Grayson in 1995’s Batman Forever, a role he reprised in Batman & Robin.
However, that 1997 movie — considered by most to be a low point for the franchise — seemingly killed the notion of a full-on Batman and Robin team-up movie. The closest the movies have come since is a last-minute reveal regarding Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises.
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Marlon Wayans nearly landed the role in Tim Burton’s third ‘Batman’
O’Donnell may be the actor best known to modern audiences as Robin. But when Tim Burton was still attached to make a third Bat-film, Marlon Wayans was cast in the role. Wayans ultimately lost the part when Burton left, and the movie was retooled. But with Keaton coming back, it’s possible the DCEU could make Burton’s canceled vision as canon.
Over the years, the comics have featured a variety of different iterations of Robin. So which version of the character the DCEU uses next will depend on which Batman he or she is fighting alongside. If Keaton’s Batman takes over, then Wayans might have a shot at playing a grown-up Dick Grayson, who evolves into the crimefighter known as Nightwing.
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But the DCEU might be looking to the MCU for casting inspiration
But by the sounds of it, the DCEU isn’t planning on bringing in Dick Grayson at all. Rather, We Got This Covered reports the series is looking to introduce the Tim Drake version of Robin. Moreover, Marvel actor Tom Holland is among those being eyed for the part.
Tim Drake is actually the third version of the character and one which has never appeared in the movies before. And if this is true, it’s a curious pick for the DCEU’s Robin. Tim Drake is easily the least-talked-about version of the hero. But if Warner Bros. wants to break new ground, that’s one way.
Casting Holland, however, feels like a long shot. The actor is pretty invested in playing Spider-Man for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But if WGTC is accurate, Holland’s age indicates this Robin would be fighting with Pattinson’s Batman. Here’s hoping Warner Bros. offers some clarity on what it has planned for the Dark Knight soon.
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