EDITORIAL: Why DICK GRAYSON/ROBIN's Origin Must Be The Story In The BATMAN Reboot

LEVITIKUZ explains why Dick Grayson/Robin's origin must be included in the first film of the Batman reboot. Why Dick has to be included, Who the villains should be, future Batman allies, what Dick's suit should look like, and what the title of the film should be etc.

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By LEVITIKUZ - 1/22/2013


Ok now I have done many articles about how the first film to the Batman reboot should be. I wrote one on how they should use the Batman: Earth One story but looking back we don’t need to retell Batman’s origin. I wrote one about how Mask of the Phantasm should get the live action treatment and be the first film in the Batman reboot but I feel that it’s one of those things that work better animated then it would live action. I wrote an article on why Mr. Freeze should be the main villain but my problem is that I don’t think he would work well as the first villain in the reboot. So now I got a grand idea, a foolproof plan. The first Batman film in the reboot should be about Dick Grayson and Robin’s origin story and here’s why.

WHY SHOULD DICK GRAYSON/ROBIN BE INVOLVED IN THE FIRST BATMAN MOVIE




Redemption


Robin needs redemption. Robin needs to be viewed as a badass. When you mention Robin most of the time people think of Burt Ward in the old Adam West Batman show. Some people will think of Chris O'Donnell’s Robin for those horrible Joel Schumacher Batman Forever and Batman & Robin films. The rest will think of John Blake from The Dark Knight Rises. We haven’t had a great Robin in the media if you think about it. The only other Robin I could think of that is great is the one in Batman: Arkham City. People love that Robin and consider him a badass but that Robin is Tim Drake. Dick has yet to have a great Robin viewed in the media and it’s time he does.



This Is A Young Batman


Let’s say that WB’s actually does a Justice League movie, we have a new Batman series coming off of that. Now I have no idea about how some of the chronically events in Batman’s career. The first time the Justice League form and Batman having Dick Grayson as Robin must be near each other. We also can’t do a Hush or Court of Owls adaption yet. Not saying it’s not possible but it’s best to wait before doing those storylines. Those stories involve Barbara Gordon as Batgirl/Oracle, Dick Grayson as Nightwing, and Tim Drake as Red Robin/Robin. We can’t also just have Dick as Nightwing. As I said it’s likely this will be Batman’s third year as Batman. Dick became Robin around then so it’s best to introduce Robin then show him full grown as Nightwing.

We Just Had An Entire Batman Trilogy With Batman By Himself


Title of this says it all. We just went through an entire Batman trilogy where there was no Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl and others. To begin a new Batman series, it’s time Batman has a partner.



Robin Begins


Now I strongly feel that Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy shouldn’t be an influence at all with the new Batman film series but this is the only exception. I think that the beginning film in this new Batman series should have a little Batman Begins to it. The thing with Batman Begins is the primary focus is on Bruce Wayne/Batman. Before the film, there wasn’t that many people who knew Ra’s al Ghul or Scarecrow. These lesser known villains at the time proved beneficial because the focus was on Batman. My idea is to take that idea with the primary focus on Batman & Dick Grayson. My idea for villains is further down this article but the main villain will be Tony Zucco, the man who caused Dick’s parents to die.

You Can Tell Batman’s Origin Story During It


Now after seeing The Amazing Spider-Man, no matter how much you loved it or hated it we all can agree that we didn’t need the origin retold. We all know Spider-Man’s origin and it didn’t need to be retold 10 years after Spider-Man.We need to learn from our mistakes. While this is the first film of the new Batman series, Batman’s origin does need to be told. Batman’s origin should take the whole movie and in fact, it’s a lot easier to tell it if you involve Dick Grayson.

My idea to tell Batman’s origin after Dick finds out about the Batcave and sees that Bruce Wayne is Batman. We then have a conversation between Bruce, Dick, and Alfred. Bruce tells him that he became the Batman after the death of his parents. We see the scene of the death of his parents via flashback. Bruce also explains that he journeyed through the world and trained to become the Batman to Dick. He also tells Dick he doesn’t want his life to be consumed with vengeance like his is.

It’s a simple way to explain, doesn’t take long, and you got it over with while staying faithful to the source material. It should take between 5-7 minutes.



How Bruce Wayne And Dick Grayson Are The Same


Above you see a clip from the animated series The Batman. Please click it. Even if you’re not a big fan of the animated series, just click it. The video is 2:21 long. Done? Ok now no matter how many Robins or sidekicks Batman has, there is a difference between all of them and Dick. Dick is the only one who went through what Bruce went through. Dick is the only one who lost his parents at a young age due to a criminal. Dick and Bruce are the same. Look at the reaction Bruce has after seeing Dick’s reaction to his parent’s death. Bruce realizes that is the same look he had when he lost his parents. He knows everything that kid is going through. Bruce is reliving his parent’s death through the eyes of Dick. Before writing this, I re-watched Batman Forever quickly. I speeded through most of the movie and really only watched scenes that included Dick and they missed the whole point with Dick and Bruce’s relationship. Bruce didn’t seem like a father figure at all to Dick. Dick and Bruce rarely really talked at all unless it was about motorcycles or being his sidekick. Part of this could be the fact Dick was so old. In this film, Dick should be around 16 at the oldest. The reason Dick needs to be young is to show the connection with Dick and Bruce both losing their parents at younger ages. The reboot should show you how much Dick and Bruce are alike and show you that they have a deeper relationship than just being partners.

VILLAINS IN THE STORY




Tony Zucco


Tony Zucco is the main villain. My idea is to make this more of a detectivish story with Batman trying to hunt down and find Zucco. Zucco needs to be the main that causes the death of Dick’s parents without a doubt. We have people who think Two-Face was the one in the comics who killed Dick’s parents. Remember back when people said Joker killed Bruce’s parents? That is nothing against Burton’s Batman. I love that film but still we need the source material to remain the same with some things. Batman having a manhunt looking for someone isn’t something we really see in Batman films. The only one I could think of was The Dark Knight when Batman tried to find Joker.



Joker


Don’t get excited everybody; Joker isn’t a major villain in this story. Batman & Joker’s origins don’t need to be told at all and to show that it’s best if you just dive into them fighting. My idea with Joker is to start off the film with Batman chasing down Joker after Joker robbed a bank or blew up a building or did something. Start off action packed to show the audience we are well into Batman’s career where Batman is known around Gotham and is trusted by the police. He captures Joker and returns to the cave.



Possibly Black Mask And Rupert Throne


My idea is that after the death of Dick’s parents, Batman goes on a full-scale warpath and manhunt to find Tony Zucco. Batman knows Tony is behind it because previously, Tony was trying to make a deal with Dick’s father but the deal got cut short after Batman showed up. This part is influenced by The Batman episode that introduces Robin.

Now before Dick’s parents died, Batman was trying to put an end to a gang war between Rupert Thorne and Black Mask. Batman crashes into the offices of both of them and interrogates them into asking where Tony Zucco is hiding. While these guys may not have a huge role, my goal is to introduce and show that most of Batman’s rogue gallery already exists and isn’t dead. We rarely see a world where most of the rogue gallery of a hero exists because we always see one villain and that villain usually dies which leads to other villain.

OTHER BATMAN ALLIES FOR FUTURE FILMS




Barbara Gordon


Now does everyone remember when I said that Mr. Freeze should be the first villain in the Batman reboot? Well I’m switching that up only a bit. I feel that Mr. Freeze should be the first major villain that is the main villain in a Batman film and that film will happen in a sequel that introduces Barbara Gordon.

*LEVITIKUZ lights cigar and smokes it. I love it when a plan comes together.

I have a plan for a sequel that will solve everything. The sequel to this his based off Batman: Subzero. Now my idea for Barbara is that she is a high school classmate of Dick’s. She’s around Dick’s age. They both have a crush on each other and they start dating. Now Mr. Freeze broke out of Arkham and is after curing his wife. Dick never heard of Mr. Freeze so Batman tells him his origin and how the first time he faced Freeze, Freeze went after the business men who created him. We see that scene via flashback. Freeze tries to find a match to cure Nora and Barbara Gordon is a perfect match. Freeze kidnaps Barbara. Now we all know how this will end but my point is after Barbara is saved by Batman & Robin, she becomes inspirited by them and we end the film with her drawing designs for Batgirl suit. Another thing is this ends with Mr. Freeze on a good note because after this incident, Bruce Wayne funds a program and brings Freeze’s wife back among the living. Freeze’s body was never found and when he heard the news he had a smile and was crying. Freeze gets a good ending. Also Penguin will be involved in this story.

In the third Batman film, someone kidnaps Commissioner Gordon leading Barbara to become Batgirl.



Jason Todd


My idea for him is to honestly never include him. My problem with having Jason is his Robin days. Jason Todd’s Robin is only known for dying at the hands of the Joker. I don’t like introducing a new Robin and having him for 2 years to only die and then having him back from the dead 3-5 years later. It makes no sense and you can adapt so many better stories instead of focusing towards that.



Tim Drake

Have Tim Drake become the second Robin without a doubt.




Stephanie Brown


Never include her. I’m sorry but when you are the fourth Robin and the third Batgirl, it’s one of those things that work well in the comics but not in movies.



Damian Wayne


I’m alright with him being the third Robin but at the same time it seems like too many Robins. Robin shouldn't be a title always passed down, it should be something. I like Damian and I think it's a nice twist for a film to have him be Bruce's son.

WHAT ROBIN’S SUIT SHOULD LOOK LIKE




There is a right way to do the suit and a wrong way. The only problem is that there are too many wrong ways. Dick’s Robin suit should feature the colors yellow, red, and green. That is Dick’s colors. We shouldn’t have a full on bodysuit. That was done in Batman Forever. We have to also give him pants. Above is the design I found that’s perfect for Dick. While the character of this photo is Tim Drake, the colors were reworked to show Dick’s Robin suit. We have Batman: The Animated Series influence on the suit in terms of look. We also have bright colors. The Robin suit in Batman Forever had darker reds, yellows, and greens. Dick isn’t a dark character so his suit shouldn’t reflect it. We also gave him the hood because let’s be honest, that hood was badass. It’s perfect for Dick’s design. Below you will see Tim Drake’s Robin suit.



Now while this article is focused on Dick, this is a great design for Tim’s suit. It should be very different from Dick’s and it is. We see black instead of green, no hope and a longer cape. Great design.

TITLE OF THE MOVIE


Batman: A Matter of Family


I honestly believe when doing a film telling Dick’s origin that should be the title. That was the same title used in The Batman episode that first introduced Dick. It is a great name that also shows that the theme of this film is family. Bruce sees how Dick is going through everything that he went through. Dick has always been seen as Bruce’s adopted son. In fact in one comic I saw, it was said that Dick was the one person Bruce cared about the most. Family will be the theme of this film.



BOTTOM LINE


Introducing Robin in the first film of a new Batman series shows how much of a difference this series is to Nolan. Nolan’s Batman series had Batman working alone. Including Dick Grayson doesn’t mean Batman is gaining a sidekick to fight crime with but he’s gaining someone who knows him. Someone who knows the pain he went through. Someone that has the same desire and drive that he does with Dick. Bruce and Dick’s relationship is so much deeper than being Batman & Robin and that relationship should be included. We talk about how we want Green Lantern or Daredevil have redemption in movies but shouldn’t Robin be ahead of them? Daredevil’s only film wasn’t that bad and neither was Green Lantern if you change some things around. Robin was on the big screen during the Schumacher era and during the Adam West era. Robin is more of a joke on the big screen then Aquaman is at all. Dick deserves a good film treatment and this is the way to go. What are your thoughts? Comment below. Peace.
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MisterMagurlypse - 1/22/2013, 4:48 PM
Lotsa good ideas there. I think they'll put him in the reboot. They have to. Robin's such a huge part of who Batman/Bruce is. Good stuff!
GreenHalJordan - 1/22/2013, 4:52 PM
I like it a lot. I personally have an idea of how I would restart the Batman film series, I have been trying to get around to doing it. All that aside, I completely agree that is is important for Robin to be in the movie, but I want Jason Todd as the second.
Minato - 1/22/2013, 4:59 PM
AMEN
GreenHalJordan - 1/22/2013, 5:04 PM
Also, by making Robin a focal point, especially Dick Grayson, it opens up a growing fan base for the character and name, and the possibility of a Nightwing movie. (Ii can only hope!)
KingNTheKong - 1/22/2013, 5:10 PM
I love this. I think that Damian should be the only one with a hood if he;s in a movie. I like the ideas! Keep it up!
GreenHalJordan - 1/22/2013, 5:16 PM
Jason Todd can be really developed though too. Lot's of people have a bad taste in their mouth when thinking of the name Robin and they give all the dark and gritty credit to Batman. However, Jason Todd is the one Robin that could flip that idea on it's head because Batman has to try and control his brutality. If Batman is becoming scared that you will become to fierce and brutal to bring justice, and you work with him, it puts things into perspective.
Minato - 1/22/2013, 5:25 PM
Well thought out article and I like most of your ideas.

I dont think you should skip Jason. Jason was a very important Robin because he is the product of Bruces obsessive, cold hearted and violent side.

When Dick first quits to become Nightwing it was because he was tired of Bruces manipulations and unrealistic expectations. Grayson was Leader of the Teen Titans and a College student at the time and couldnt be there for Bruce 100%.

When Bruce first meets Jason he makes him Robin because "The mission must go on" and didnt learn the lesson Dick was trying to teach by leaving. Bruce goes on with a more violent Robin that only perpetuates Bruces violent tendencies which culminates in Jasons death.

Tim sees his idol Batman loosing himself and approaches him with the goal of being the Light to Batmans Dark because "Robin balances Batman". Batman doesn't learn this until Tim because of Jasons death.

Honestly I dont this Damien's history and reason for being is as rich as Jasons.
FirstAvenger - 1/22/2013, 6:16 PM
LEVI I was about to right this, great ideas man.
blite32 - 1/22/2013, 6:53 PM
I think that robin should be an older teenager at least about junior year at high school. I know it seems pretty badass to see young robins kicking the tar out of bad guys in the comics. But it is just going to look really silly to have a 12 year old fighting other adults (we all the saw the garbage which is The Last Airbender). Instead, why dont we have robin be around the same age as Bruce when Bruce left Gotham to train. That's about early twenties. The movie should focus more on batman becoming the teacher. We should also should see some flashbacks of Bruce's early training with Henri Ducard. By approaching the movie this way, we get to see Robin's origin as well as Batman's origin.
blite32 - 1/22/2013, 6:55 PM
*Not early twenties, about 16 or 17
blite32 - 1/22/2013, 6:57 PM
@Battlin

The only problem is that besides from previously being Oracle, batgirl isn't too interesting at all. If you going to have a batgirl story, it will probably have to be the killing joke
JDUKE25 - 1/22/2013, 6:59 PM
Love the suit for Tim. I just modified it a bit and made the inside yellow, and the R more visible.

blite32 - 1/22/2013, 7:04 PM
Also, Dominor masks might look a bit silly on a superheroes. In Catwoman had one but she's a burglar. Instead of using the classic robin design, go for something more bird-like like the Arkham City Red Robin costume.
You could have an interesting character moment between dick and Alfred
It will go something like

Alfred-"You might think you are, but you are not exactly the same as Master Bruce, you are not fueled by fear. You are fueled by the loing memories of your parents."

Dick "They always said I was like a bird when we were doing our act"
blite32 - 1/22/2013, 7:05 PM
*Dominoe
JDUKE25 - 1/22/2013, 7:05 PM
I think it should be Dick for the first two movies, and show in the second movie towards the end that he will go out on his own now and become Nightwing. I say skip Jason. All he's good for is being a prick and dying. He's not that interesting. Just skip to Tim and have him for the next two and then you can introduce Damian.

But Robin for sure needs to be in the new one. We need a Batfamily. Dick should be the one to start it off.
JDUKE25 - 1/22/2013, 7:15 PM
@LEV no problem
albinocow - 1/22/2013, 7:16 PM
can we have a movie start off 2 years later where the story of Jason Todd is told through flashbacks? It can start with a depressed Batman and explain Dick becoming Nightwing as well as Jason coming into the fold and then subsequently "leaving it". Jason can be the same age as Dick was when he quit and can't control his anger as well. With flashbacks you can only focus on the big events and its less of a waiting game. Give Robin/Nightwing a spinoff that can introduce other characters such as Barbara or Tim.
MrEko - 1/22/2013, 7:17 PM
Great article but I think the one thing you failed to explore is "Why Batman - a badass vigilante - would need not one but 4 untrained teenage sidekicks over the course of 3 movies"... especially after the death of one of them at the hands of his arch nemesis.

Robin is a tricky element to pull off in live action. Burton tried to work Robin into Batman Returns and couldn't find a reason to put him in without throwing the script off-balance, so he abandoned him. Schumacher followed the comics lore to the tee and the result was lackluster. Nolan wisely avoided Robin, think about it, a teenage JGL as Robin doing hangsprings across Gotham in Batman Begins would have been an unmitigated disaster.

Hence, all Robin's previous appearances have been in campy, light hearted versions... and for good reasons. He is a kid. Take Bucky for example, Marvel aged him up and made him Steve's peer. Why? because child-sidekicks are obsolete and very hard to justify in stories involving carnage, death and destruction. A teenage Bucky, dodging bullets and falling to his imminent death reeks of child abuse not heroism and would leave the audience aghast. Another example is Karate Kid (2010), a movie that got a lot of complaints because reviewers found it difficult to watch a 10 year old kid getting beaten to a bloody pulp. Multiply that effect by 100 and you've got Robin in a non-campy/serious Batman movie. Cue parent groups outrage.

In my humble opinion, if any of the Robins or even Batgirl ever appear in a serious, dark movie in the vein of Arkham City/Court of Owls their origins are gonna be drastically retooled:

- They would have to be independent crimefighters (in their late teens) that happen to be capable fighters existing well before Batman recruits them.(Think Grayson as a teenage hero dubbed "The Robin" who targets Zucco drug trades OR Todd as a homeless anti-hero known as "The Red Hood") Why? So the audience understands the need for Batman to recruit them. He is training them to be better heroes and not the more disturbing thought that he is recruiting young boys and girls to fight crime and might secretly be a pederast.

- Their relationship with Batman is more of a Mentor/Protege than Superhero/Sidekick.

- They are independent of Batman, i.e. their lives aren't tired down to being Batman's side projects. You want to give the audience the impression that these guys have their own adventures even when Batman is not around.

Sometimes what's awesome on paper, becomes cheesy/silly when translated directly unto film. Robin is one of them.
JDUKE25 - 1/22/2013, 7:25 PM
@Battlin sorry dude, but that sounds horrible

MrEko - 1/22/2013, 7:29 PM
Okay, I counted Tim Drake and Damian Wayne in your future allies section. Honestly I think Grayson, Drake and Barbara can be saved for a Young Justice/Teen Titans movie tie-in especially if it exists in a shared cinematic universe. Batman can do his own thing with a short cameo by Robin, while Robin kicks ass in a YJ/TT movie.
BIGBMH - 1/22/2013, 7:59 PM
Nice article. Dick is essential to the new franchise. IMO, he needed to be in Nolan's trilogy but more on that in my next article.
AshleyWilliams - 1/22/2013, 8:08 PM
Fantastic article.
BIGBMH - 1/22/2013, 9:10 PM
We're really on the same page as far as Dick's story. My execution of the story is different from your's (partially since mine is an ending and yours is a beginning) but the themes are quite similar. Bruce has to be a father figure for it to really make sense.

If I was doing a new trilogy, I'd begin a little bit differently though. I think in order to have it make the most sense that Dick would be skillful enough that he could be Batman's partner, he'd have to train for a few years. Therefore, I've always found it problematic to have a story in which he loses his parents, meets Bruce, trains and becomes Robin all in the span of a few months. I'd begin the story with Dick under Bruce's care having trained for a few years, on the cusp of becoming Robin. Then I'd do flashbacks of the origin. Not an ideal situation, but ideally a certain director would've set up for the next Batman franchise...
shf4839 - 1/22/2013, 11:56 PM
CoulsonLives - 1/23/2013, 12:10 AM
I would call it, "Batman: The Caped Crusader"
thebearjew - 1/23/2013, 1:19 AM
LEVOTIKUZ robin hasnt been portrayed well in media?? Not in the live action realm hes been terrible in live action but in his animated apperances hes been great batman TAS, TEEN TITIANS, YOUNG JUSTICE, batman under the red hood movie
thebearjew - 1/23/2013, 1:19 AM
oh ya and the arkham games
thebearjew - 1/23/2013, 1:24 AM
i like BATMAN THRUSH


A robin bird is a me,ber of the thrush family in case you were wandering
thebearjew - 1/23/2013, 1:25 AM
A robin bird is a member of the thrush family in case you were wandering about the strange title
Christuffer - 1/23/2013, 4:58 AM
Funny how Dick Grayson was so much like John Blake, but a little name made all the difference.
Christuffer - 1/23/2013, 5:02 AM
As for the title, all of the ones named so far are kinda lame guys. Let's face it, Nolan used all the obvious ones. Why not go for something simple, like "The Batman", or maybe just "Batman". If you do it that way, you can just add on to that (with the subtitle making sense of course). I know that it's exactly what Burton and Shoe-Mocker did, but c'mon! You have to admit, 'Batman Returns', 'Batman Forever', and even 'Batman and Robin' are all perfect titles.
Nevermender - 1/23/2013, 5:20 AM
I don't think audiences much care for the Batman family (or Robin to be brutally honest). It's the villains people are interested in. Though it would be nice to see a Robin or two and Dick as grow into Nightwing and Barbara become Batgirl, no one outside of the animated series and fans would give a damn. The focus should be on Batman and pushing the limit past what has been done before. I personally vouch for the grittier world's best detective avenue with some clever hard hitting moves (Put him up against Croc or something). But to start out with yet another rehashed Robin story is bland and unoriginal. If anything the movies need to push the franchise forward, not look back.
thebearjew - 1/23/2013, 5:24 AM
@Theyoungman ya hes based off of erra flynn and robin hood but his symbol is the bird similiar color scheme, he becomes nightWING (dick does) criminals refer to him as bird boy
Lindsey35 - 1/23/2013, 6:00 AM
Great stuff! Man, totally, you should get into the movie biz. If studios would just do half of that, fans would flip! Awesome. Have you ever considered writing a script? I mean, right there you have just about everything. If you plan to, show it to a director or something.
drellik - 1/23/2013, 6:09 AM
Way to go, dude. Good ideas in here. Aside from the comics, only the animated series (old and new) have done Robin justice. They need to use those elements from the animated series in the movies.
Shadowelfz - 1/23/2013, 6:49 AM
Yeah sorry man but I want to keep Robin as far away from Batman and Bat movies as possible. The whole character concept makes no sense; a dark and brooding guy whose parents were gunned down in front of him adopts a teen boy and trains him to fight badguys with guns?

The only reason the character exists in the first place is because DC forced him on Bob Kane so they could sell more comics to kids.

Robin is a cool character in his own right but having him work with Batman just never made sense with me.
FanBoyBlack - 1/23/2013, 7:12 AM
Not a bad idea. Folks fail to understand that Robin is one of the best detectives/martial artists in the DC universe; just below Batman himself. So using him as comic relief or levity is incorrect. He SHOULD be a bad ass. There is NO reason Hit Girl is more bad ass than Robin (in ANY form). So I agree; put up a bad ass Robin. Tell his story. Show his skills, and build his fan base. I promise you every kid will buy a Robin costume next Halloween.
TheDudeRises - 1/23/2013, 7:13 AM
Christoph Waltz as Mr. Freeze. That is all.
Lindsey35 - 1/23/2013, 7:21 AM
If people would read the article, they'd understand.

Also, this would make things different from Nolan's trilogy. Don't we want something we haven't seen before, people?
ClobberPot - 1/23/2013, 7:24 AM
I stopped reading after "Now I have no idea about how some of the chronically events in Batman’s career."
LEVITIKUZ, get a proofreader or write better.
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