What Do You Think About Robin For The Nolan-Bale Batman Series?
August 3, 2008 5:27am CST
I just watched "The Dark Knight," and my girlfriend asked me about Robin appearing in the new franchise. Personally, not familiar with the comic books, I really only know two origins for Robin, the one in the animated series and Chris O'Donnell's performance in "Batman Forever." My preference is actually for the animated version, but the largest differences in the film are that Robin is significantly older and his parents are killed by Two-Face, not the mafia. I must say, personally, I do not see Robin coming out of Nolan's version of Gotham City. However, if one watches "Batman: The Animated Series," specifically the two-part episode entitled, "Robin's Reckoning," (This is available in five installments on YouTube) then you, like me, could agree that Richard Grayson may yet appear in the series. I can see Nolan adding the burdens of a father to Bruce, who would obviously see himself in the young Richard. Grayson does not have to become Robin, but I can definitely see Bruce adopting an orphan of mafia violence. And on that note, if he adopts Grayson in one movie, the kid could be older in the next and could be training to follow Batman, but not actually be a superhero. I could see Grayson becoming Nightwing, not Robin, over the course of three films, which implies two complete trilogies. It took Bruce the experience of seven years in Indochina to become Batman, so I don't see much problem with Richard training under Bruce, but not in one film. I wouldn't even expect Richard to learn that Bruce is Batman until his second movie. I would expect Richard to be about thirteen at his introduction to Bruce, so that he could be in his early twenties after three films. Given the time tables here, you'll note that Commissioner Gordon has a son and daughter, and one assumes the girl to be Barbara. I assume her to be the toddler in the high-chair in "Batman Begins," since Gordon's son is too old to be the same kid one year later in "The Dark Knight." This means that Bruce would be almost thirty years older than Batgirl, given his birthday in the first film. That said, the role of Grayson may work much differently than in other incarnations. If Bruce were say thirty-five when Richard is thirteen, then by the time Grayson would be in his twenties, Bruce would be in his early forties and would be likely at the end of his vigilante career. Grayson would have to spend almost a trilogy to not join Batman, but to replace him, as "The Dark Knight" addresses the fact that Gotham may need Batman longer than Bruce can wear the mask. To be honest, though it is a completely separate point, I don't see a woman being capable of enduring the physically abusive rigors and traumatic psychological damages that Bruce inflicts on himself as Batman, nor would a woman, even in her physical prime, be as frightening to the criminal element. Not to say she couldn't do this, but she would never be able to work to such levels without her father noticing, as even Bruce at 6'4" and over 200lb could not be Batman without his trust fund and a lifestyle flexible enough to allow prolonged recuperations. Also, Barbara would need Wayne Enterprise more than Bruce does to compensate for her diminutive stature and lack of comparative physical strength with greater weaponry. This is not to say however, that Barbara would not eventually be involved with Batman's crusade, I just don't see her taking up costumed heroics. I actually see her taking up Lucius Fox's position and being a technological asset to Nightwing. She is, after all, a computer major, and she eventually becomes Oracle after the Joker shoots her in the spine. She could bypass Batgirl altogether. Lucius and Alfred would likely be gone by the time Grayson reached such a stage. So, in conclusion, my view of the matter is this. Richard Grayson, Barbara Gordon, even possibly Jason Todd or Tim Drake may appear in the Christopher Nolan Batman franchise, but they are likely to be highly redesigned in order to fit the more realistic universe of Gotham City.