Why The Batman Sequel Needs a Robin

After years of being in development, The Batman found its way to movie theaters this past weekend, and it definitely seems like audiences are enjoying Matt Reeves' take on the Dark Knight. Even before the film debuted, its trailers and teasers previewed a vision for Gotham City that was incredibly specific: equal parts reverential for the canon of DC Comics, the horror-tinged serial killer stories of its plot and aesthetics, and an "emo" sensibility. While some had expected the project to be the darkest take on Batman yet, the end result ended up existing on a surprising emotional footing, one that is sure to bleed over into the multiple HBO Max spinoffs and possible sequel that are on the way. Some fans have begun to argue that, once a sequel to The Batman becomes a reality, one character should be added to the fold — Dick Grayson / Robin. Spoilers for The Batman lurk below! Only look if you want to know!

The Batman follows Bruce Wayne / Batman (Robert Pattinson) in his second year as Gotham's vigilante, a decision sparked by his still-raw trauma regarding the death of his parents. Initially, Bruce aimed to use Batman as a symbol of fear, in order to scare criminals away from making the city worse. That mindset began to be tested by the emergence of Edward Nashton / Riddler (Paul Dano), a serial killer who created elaborate puzzles tied to the murders of corrupt public officials in the city. Eventually, Bruce realized that Riddler was convinced that he and Batman were fighting in the same side, and fought to save the city as Riddler and his radicalized followers tried to destroy it. By the end of the film, Bruce began to discover that many of the people in Gotham saw him as a symbol of hope, and that he should be taking that approach going forward.

While a sequel to The Batman could take shape in any number of ways, no character could serve as the foil to Bruce's more hopeful crusade than Robin — particularly, Dick Grayson. In the earliest days of his comic appearances, Dick's world was turned upside down when his circus acrobat parents were killed by gangsters employed by a dangerous crime boss named Tony Zucco. As Bruce attempted to protect Dick from potentially being killed by Zucco, he eventually took the young boy under is wing, and they took down Zucco and a number of major foes together. Eventually, Bruce and Dick developed a close emotional bond, as Bruce helped Dick find a healthy outlet for his grief and anger, and Dick helped Bruce realize he didn't need to work alone in his crusade.

This narrative circumstance feels like something that the world of The Batman could truly have fun with, especially given where Pattinson's character is at in his vigilante career. His brief partnership alongside Selina Kyle / Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz) already made him entertain the idea that he doesn't need to work alone, even as they parted ways at the end of the film thanks to Bruce's commitment to Gotham City. And depending on how a sequel wanted to introduce Dick — either with an adaptation of the Zucco storyline, or something else entirely — the younger character could represent the hopeful figure that Batman is becoming in the eyes of Gotham, as the nature of that begins to be put to the test. This would also give us a Batman and Robin dynamic previously unseen in live-action, as both Burt Ward and Chris O'Donnell's versions of Robin were aged up to be young adult contemporaries of Batman. Plus, if the sequel were to take place shortly after or even a year after the events of The Batman, that would roughly reflect when and how Robin joined his crusade in the Golden Age of Comics.

Do you want to see Robin appear in a sequel to The Batman? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

The Batman is now playing exclusively in theaters.