Posted on Thursday, July 3rd, 2008 by Hunter Stephenson
Yesterday, I posted on Christian Bale‘s reported dismissal of Robin—both the character and his place in Christopher Nolan‘s Batman franchise—and the comments continue to unfold with incredibly lengthy diatribes widely in favor of Bale’s sentiments. Twenty-three words can unleash hundreds of thousands, and now highly respected comic writer Jeph Loeb, whose credits include both The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, has come out in defense of Robin/Dick Grayson’s place in a Batman 3. What’s worth noting is that both of the connected books mentioned above have long been considered by geeks to be fair game for a sequel(s) to The Dark Knight…if we’re so lucky. Here’s what Loeb told MTV regarding his vision for “the next step” in these high water mark superhero films..
“Take the time to tell the story properly,” Loeb said. “There is a story of Dick Grayson and how he becomes Robin that is extremely moving and very helpful. …[Grayson/Robin] doesn’t understand why it is that he needs to do this and Bruce doesn’t understand why he’s doing it either because he’s not a parent. He doesn’t know how to be a parent,” Loeb said. “And together, they make each other better people. So that for me would be the next step.”
Right now, Robin is considered to be a hex for the series due to Joel Schumacher’s legendary wack-job with the character/costumes. Combined with Robin’s oft-pubescent, effete depiction, he automatically seems like a flamboyant anomaly to Nolan’s world of hardboiled crime staked in realistic technology and sophistication. Of course, Nolan’s take on Robin would certainly not resemble anything like the admittedly biased image above, but Robin would still prove a creative challenge to adapt unlike any other character in his mythology. Oddly enough, Bale stated back in 2005 that one of his favorite Batman comics was Dark Victory, in which Robin plays a considerable role…
“But the two [Batman stories] that I liked particularly were Dark Victory and The Long Halloween. They just had some really fantastic imagery in there of the severity of Batman and everything and I would kind of imitate those positions.”
There’s speculation that The Daily Mail falsely attributed the Robin diss to Bale; however, it’s equally as likely that Bale simply browsed through various graphic novels sent to him by DC (as he informed fans in the link above) with casual interest. As it stands, Bale hates Robin. Haha. If the third film is indeed the last, might it seem strange to have entirely overlooked such a well recognized part of canon? While /Film doesn’t wish to see Robin appear in any form, Loeb does make a nice and knowing effort to illustrate how it could be done tastefully…
“I wouldn’t let him become Robin until the third act, if that. I think that’s the other problem when you tell that story is that there’s this rush to put him in a costume by the end of the first 20 minutes and in that case I think it’s a disaster…”
Discuss: Do Loeb’s comments change your stance on the appropriateness/inclusion of Robin in a sequel to The Dark Knight? Is it worth the risk and if so, how old would Robin need to be for it to work? What do you make of Bale’s compliments to Dark Victory but dislike for Robin?
Bonus Disuss: Is Chris O’Donnell’s Robin the lamest, worst outfitted superhero ever put to film? Has anyone offered a picture of Robin to O’Donnell for an autograph circa 2008? Do tell.