The DC Cinematic Universe established by Zack Snyder's trilogy of films is both praised and divisive among fans and critics, especially for his unique takes on trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman — but his introduction of the Dark Knight and the history of the Bat-family continues to be debated to this day. When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gave us our first glimpse at a Robin costume, an apparent memorial to his fallen sidekick desecrated by the Joker, people wondered which version of the Boy Wonder was possibly killed by Batman's arch nemesis.
The obvious answer points toward Jason Todd, whose murder via crowbar has become an iconic storyline adapted to different mediums. But Snyder shocked fans when he hinted it could be Dick Grayson. Now Suicide Squad director David Ayer has since confirmed those plans, indicating that Jared Leto's Joker killed the original Robin.
What is confusing? Joker killed Dick Greyson. That was Zack’s original intent. https://t.co/pKqx16Spln— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) June 17, 2020
Ayer's response to a fan question makes it clear that Grayson has been dead for some time in the DCEU. The director previously posted a photo of Batman and Harley Quinn face to face after her capture in the beginning of Suicide Squad, which appears to be an extended look at a deleted scene in which the Caped Crusader says "Joker took something important from me, now I'm gonna take something from him."
The obvious reference to Robin has since been confirmed by Ayer and Snyder. This wasn't the only plan they had for Batman's sidekick, however.
When asked if there was a plan to have Dick Grayson return after the events of his Justice League saga where Flash would go back in time, Snyder confirmed to another fan that the character would "stay dead... till Carrie."
This was a direct reference to Carrie Kelley, who becomes Batman's new protege during the events of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. This iconic comic served as a major inspiration for Snyder's Batman v Superman film, though he remixed various elements to make it serve as both the formation of the Justice League AND the twilight of Batman's crimefighting career.
"In my mind, it was that Robin had died 10 years earlier, during some run-in with a young Joker," Snyder said to IGN. "So there was a fun backstory there to play with. I felt like the whole idea was that there had been loss and there had been sacrifice. In a weird way, he had sacrificed everything to be Batman. He doesn't really have a life outside the cave. I thought that including Robin, a dead Robin, was helping us understand that he's been on quite a little journey."
Whether we get anymore information about Dick Grayson's fate and death as Robin remains to be seen, but fans should be hopeful for more information when Zack Snyder's Justice League premieres on HBO Max next year.