The Batman has yet to make its mark in theaters, but obviously, DC and Warner Bros. are already toying around with ideas for a larger franchise built around Robert Pattinson's Batman. Sequels are always one of the biggest considerations for a new superhero franchise, and in the case of The Batman, director Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson seem to have a consensus about one famous Batman story they'd be willing to explore in a sequel: "Death in the Family".
ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis had a chance to speak with Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson during the press event for The Batman, and they both name-dropped "Death in the Family" as preferred material that they'd love to explore in The Batman sequel(s).
If you don't know: "A Death in the Family" was a 1988 Batman story arc that also double as a DC Comics interactive event (of the times). The second Robin character, Jason Todd started in 1983 but was deemed unpopular by the late-80s. Batman editor Dennis O'Neil offered comic readers a 1-900 phone number where they could call in and vote for Jason's fate. By slim margin (reportedly less than a hundred votes out of over 10,000 that were cast), Jason got his death flag, and the "Death in the Family" storyline in Batman comics saw him get brutally beaten to death by The Joker, using a crowbar.
"A Death in the Family" remains a controversial milestone in comics – both within Batman lore and in the real world. Nowadays it's hard to measure whether the voting system wasn't "bombed" by what we now call "trolls" hoping to get rid of Jason; DC's choice to kill off a teenage in such brutal fashion was largely criticized – to the point that Jason Todd was later resurrected and has been re-built into one of DC's fan-favorite characters, Red Hood.
The Batman star Robert Pattinson was willing to take on "A Death in the Family" – but only if it was done with teenage Robin again:
"Yeah but he has to be 13. That's the only way I'll accept it!" Pattinson joked in deep-cut reference to Jason Todd's age when he began as Robin II. "No, I love Death in the Family and stuff. I think it would be so cool. Also, people are so scared of it, that it's kind of exciting. I think it would be a really fun addition."
"I also like Death in the Family and I think the idea of being able to approach some of the stories and think, 'How can we do this in a way that feels fresh and grounded?'" Reeves added. "Look at the scary thing and see if there's a way to do it. The question is, would we be too scared? I think we should try."
It would be interesting if Matte Reeves' Batman "Trilogy" turned into a three-part anthology of Pattinson's Bruce Wayne/Batman at some of the darkest and most challenging points in his crimefighting campaign. That's the emotional blueprint Reeves and Pattinson have painted for The Batman – so why lighten things up in a sequel?
The Batman will be in theaters on March 4th.