Should Robin be in The Dark Knight Rises?

"We mourn ..."

Image by arellis49 via Flickr

It’s a debate that’s existed since Christopher Nolan rebooted Batman back in 2005. Could Robin the Boy Wonder fit in Nolan’s reality bound universe. Stars such as Christian Bale have poured water over rumours over a potential third flick Robin appearance, but that hasn’t stopped increasing fan boy speculation now that filming for The Dark Knight Rises is underway.

Many would argue that Robin has plagued the Batman franchise over the years. When Chris O’Donnell turned up as the angsty sidekick of Val Kilmer‘s Batman in Batman Forever, things went from bad to worst. A sequel later and we had one of the worst films of all time with Batman & Robin. History suggests Batman flicks should leave out Robin but that really doesn’t have to be the case.

When we last saw the Caped Crusader back in The Dark Knight, he had become an outlaw after taking the fall for crimes he didn’t commit. Now Batman is on the run, his tie with Commissioner Gordon will undoubtedly have been severed. With Rachel Dawes dead, Harvey Dent corrupted/presumed dead and Alfred getting old, Batman is ruining out of allies. Even Lucius Fox threatened to resign after questioning Batman’s methods in The Dark Knight. With Bruce now a loner, enter Robin.

If The Dark Knight Rises wanted to go very dark with Robin it could do. After Robin’s family are killed by the uprising criminality in Gotham, Bruce Wayne could adopt the teenager (I’ll say 16+ as any younger it just becomes weird) as a political stunt to give Bruce some ‘good’ publicity by taking in an orphan. Secretly though, Bruce sees himself in Robin as they have both experienced their parents being killed by the criminals of the city. Having being raised by a butler for all his life however, Bruce struggles with the issue of parenthood, thus most of Robin’s care is left in the hands of poor old Alfred, whilst Batman roams the streets of Gotham.

The Batman/Robin dynamic should take inspiration from Jeph Loeb’s amazing book, Batman: Dark Victory. When Robin discovers the secret behind Batman’s duel identity, things change. Now Bruce can steer Robin unlike in the direction he never had whilst he was young. Thus the training begins, and most of Robin’s appearance in the film should be just training. We see Bruce undertake a serious amount of training in Batman Begins, therefore to have Robin up and ready straight away would be daft.

Robin is not like Batman, whilst Bats is a brawler, often taking on many enemies at one time, Robin is an acrobatic highflying fighter, which makes for the perfect team. The rest of Gotham’s law forces aren’t going to be pleased at how Bats is taking a teenager under is wing, therefore Robin should almost be a the perfect stealth weapon, making sure his enemies don’t see him when he attacks.

He shouldn’t be seen in official costume if he is going to be in The Dark Knight Rises, as I don’t think viewers are quite ready for that yet. Instead he should just wear sleek, back clothing, no cape with a black mask, much like what Bruce wore for the first time in Batman Begins. I also don’t think his character should be comedic as it ruins the dark aspect of the film. Rather than supply Batman with humour like he does in most adaptations, he should wither be a wiz with technology, providing Bats with extra support from the cave. If not, then he should be darker than Batman himself. Perhaps there could be a scene where Robin nearly crosses the line between justice and murder, only for Batman to have to reel him in last minute?

I know we probably won’t see Robin in The Dark Knight Rises, but if this is going to be Nolan’s last Bat flick then the film could set up Robin/Nightwing as the future protector of Gotham. It would make sense considering Warner Bros wouldn’t want to go back to reboot just yet.

Or would they…

    • js
    • May 22nd, 2011

    Such an incredible job on these movies- why would Nolan pre-announce this is the last one? I’d love if he’d go on and on with these stories- including introducing Robin whenever he felt it was right for his version of the story. He’s the one who’s done it right. They BETTER NOT reboot for a long time if Nolan decides to not do anymore. As it is, it’s dumb of whoever’s rebooting Spiderman so quickly after one of the most successful trilogies of all time.

    • I have to say I completely agree with you. I really hope they don’t reboot Batman too quickly because it would just taint the great reputation Nolan has worked so hard to give the Batman films. I would have loved a Spider-Man 4, but I think Tobey Maguire was just getting too old to play Peter Parker. It has seemed weird not to have Spider-Man in the limelight for the past 4 years though, so I’m not against a Spidey reboot as much. I just know WB are going to reboot Batman straight away to press ahead with The Justice League movie.

  1. May 24th, 2011
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