Casting Call
Five Actors Who Should Play Robin

Firefilm | 10 Feb 2016 15:00
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In this series, we speculate on what actors would be the perfect choice to play an upcoming character, or what type of character a particular actor is best suited for. Feel free to unilaterally agree with all our picks voice your opinion in the comments!

Warner Bros has been trying to inject Robin into the Batman multimedia juggernaut ceaselessly since about 1990. They pushed for the character to be in the Burton films, they called for a redressing of the famed "Batman: The Animated Series" to be rebranded as "The New Adventures of Batman and Robin," and supposedly they nearly begged Christopher Nolan to bring the prototypical sidekick to his Dark Knight trilogy. It makes sense fiscally; Robin is a kid, and if you want to sell merchandise to kids you have to give them a character they could relate to or imagine becoming.

In terms of live-action film, there's never been a successful Robin interpretation. This is for many reasons, including a lack of child stars up to the task, directors willing to try, and more importantly there's never been much narrative reason. But with the new interconnected DC cinematic universe, Robin has become a character worth talking about again. Per the Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, Ben Affleck's older wounded Batman counts the death of Robin among his failures just like Frank Miller's interpretation. So in this new movie universe, at least one Robin has existed.

But how to tell the story of Robin amid all the crazy, god-like shenanigans of the Justice League or the gonzo antics of the Suicide Squad? The answer for some might be the live-action Teen Titans television project that TNT recently passed on, but I think a movie centered on the Robin mantle and the different young heroes who have inherited it would be best. Maybe as the newest Robin trains to take over the position we get to see the evolution of the character from the 1960s "Boy Hostage" to the complex relationships forged between the DC universe's most complicated man and the younger companions he surrounds himself with. It would lend great psychological depth to the Affleck Bat, his history with the Joker, and how he's become the jaded and angry force of nature that Zack Snyder is (seemingly) crafting.

Who would play all these little chums?

Adam Brody 2009

1. Adam Brody - Dick Grayson

Dick Grayson was the first Robin, and is special beyond mere precedent in that he's also the only Robin who has successfully grown up and moved on from the persona. As Nightwing, Dick has shed the shadow of the Bat in favor of fighting crime his own way in nearby Bludhaven. But while he wore the R on his chest he was the wiseacre sidekick, usually poking fun at villains in order to provoke their stupid tendencies. He was Batman's secret weapon in more ways than one: he was a conscience, he was camouflage, and he was a still-hopeful surrogate for the orphaned little boy who died inside many years ago.

Brody is perfect for a Nightwing-era Grayson. Perhaps acting as a mentor for the incoming Robin, he could project the trademark joke-y charm that the OG Boy Wonder kept in the comics. Brody's affability is what originally got him cast as the Flash in George Miller's 2007 Justice League film that never happened, and his easygoing chatterbox routine has made him memorable since his days on "The OC." His Dick Grayson would be the man that Bruce Wayne could never be: a man who actually knows who he is without the mask.

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