It’s looking like Batman v Superman might be picking up yet another cast addition, as reports continue to roll in that the next incarnation of Batman will finally have a Robin at his side. And it looks like we also know just which Robin Batman v Superman will go with.
Rumors that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would have Robin play a role have been circulating for quite a bit, but they picked up this month with reports that Warner Bros. was planning on bringing a female Robin to the screen. Supposedly, Jena Malone is high in the running for the role, and those rumors seemed to get a bit more support on Friday with a new report from WILX News 10. [h/t: io9]
According to that report, Robin definitely appears in the script and is female. This, of course, is hearsay based on the word of a supposed extra on set. The likelihood that said extra would violate their non-disclosure contract seems really low, but there are two reasons – one little, one big – to give the report a bit more credence.
The little reason is DC’s apparent newfound commitment to diversifying its superhero movie offerings. When Warner Bros. announced its five-year plan for 10 Justice League-related movies, observers noted that the plan includes a lead movie for a female and an African-American superhero. This is pretty big for DC and Warner Bros., as some fans have been clamoring for someone other than a white male to take the lead role in kicking butt on screen.
If Warner Bros. decides to go with a female Robin, that would up the diversity component even more, even catapulting them past staunch rival Marvel, which has yet to release an action movie with anything other than a white male lead.
Beyond that, though, there’s the big reason: Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder’s love affair with Frank Miller’s seminal Batman comic, The Dark Knight Returns.
TDKR laid the groundwork for what you now consider to be Batman. It almost single-handedly pulled the character out of the sillier aesthetic typified by Adam West’s take on Batman and into the dark and gritty hero we know today. And Snyder loves Dark Knight Returns.
Just loves it.
Announcing the film last year at San Diego Comic-Con, Snyder went out of his way for fan service, bringing Harry Lennix on stage to read a critical passage from the graphic novel, one where Batman finally [spoilers] lets Superman have it and lets the Big Blue Boy Scout know how the world works.
That’s not the sort of thing you do if you’re not planning on cribbing heavily from TDKR. You don’t tease fanboys that way; they’re dangerous, they will hurt you.
Other TDKR gestures include the design of Batman’s suit in the forthcoming flick. It’s based on Batman’s look in Dark Knight Returns, as is the Batmobile.
And if Snyder is that in love with Miller’s version of the Dark Knight, it seems a pretty safe bet that his take on Robin will follow suit. That means moviegoers will likely be introduced to Carrie Kelley, who takes up the mantle of Robin in TDKR.
Who is Carrie Kelley? Well, for one, she’s inspired by the Batman. Kelley is a total rookie when Batman decides to put on the cowl once more, and she winds up having to prove her bona fides in order to hang with the Bat. It’s dangerous work, and she has a lot of close calls along the way, but she eventually earns Bats’ respect, and he comes to trust her as his No. 2.
She’s also super loyal, jumping into the fray against a much stronger opponent when it looks like Batman is about to go down for the count. That’s one of the reasons she gets into so much trouble over the course of Dark Knight Returns, but it’s also the reason Batman winds up respecting her so.
Also, Carrie will wind up teaching Batman a thing or two. Not that Bruce Wayne is any kind of a slouch, but Carrie whips into his life and takes to his computer systems in a way that Bruce never could. She’s got her own way of speaking and thinking, and Bruce learns from her just as much as she learns from him.
How much of The Dark Knight Returns‘ Robin will make it into Batman v Superman? That’s hard to say. Given that the film has to introduce not only the new, old Batman but also have time for cameos by Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and much of the Justice League, there just might not be enough space to explore Carrie’s character too much.
Still, if we do wind up seeing Kelley brought to life in Batman v Superman, we can definitely expect fireworks when her bubbly, street-smart version of Robin butts heads with Ben Affleck’s grizzled, grumpy old Batman.