Twilight’s Robert Pattinson is the next in line to don the cowl of Gotham City’s Dark Knight, making him the seventh live-action feature film Batman in a tradition which began with Adam West’s 1966 Batman: The Movie. Yet in the 54 years since West’s Batman and his sidekick Robin played by Burt Ward made the leap from television to the silver screen, only one other actor has managed to play a live-action, big screen Boy Wonder in all that time.
Whilst Batsy has since been played by Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck, only actor Chris O’Donnell has taken on the mantle of Robin since Burt Ward (though Christopher Nolan did give a small nod to the role via Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, John Blake, in The Dark Knight Rises).
But now, with Pattinson’s Batman expected to be the first in a new Bat-trilogy, and with both Keaton and Affleck confirmed to be returning to their versions of the character in the ever-expanding DC Multiverse, the time has never been better for DC to begin planning Robin’s triumphant return to the big screen.
So why don’t we look around the Batcave and see which actors would make a good big-screen Robin in the years to come?
Timothée Chalamet as Dick Grayson’s Robin
First up, let us take a look at the current front runner for the role according to the internet rumour mill, star of the upcoming Dune remake Timothée Chalamet.
Ever since Pattinson was first announced as Bruce Wayne, Chalamet’s name has been floated multiple times as a potential Dick Grayson for a future film in the planned trilogy. Given that it’s been widely reported that Pattinson’s first outing is a Year Two story, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be at a stage in his career as the Caped Crusader to take on an apprentice in that first film, but there’s no telling where its sequels are planned to go from there, and fans are already clamouring for Robin’s return to the big screen.
At the moment, though, there’s no official confirmation there even are plans for Robin to make a big-screen return, let alone whether or not Warner Bros. have Chalamet in mind for the role.
Ethan Cutkosky as Jason Todd’s Robin
Batman fans know all too well the cruel fate which befell Batman’s second Robin, Jason Todd, at the hands of the Joker, which also led to his eventual transformation into Red Hood. Director Zack Snyder even hinted at Todd’s fate in Batman v Superman, where Robin’s costume that had been defaced by the Joker hangs in Affleck’s Batcave.
Whilst Snyder later took to social media to suggest that it may have been Dick Grayson, not Jason Todd, who was killed by the Joker in his vision for the DC universe, with the upcoming The Flash movie planning to come in and shake up the whole multiverse via a Flashpoint storyline, there’s no telling which version of Robin we may end up seeing next.
Though, if it is going to be the rebellious Jason Todd instead of Dick Grayson, we’ve got our fingers crossed for Ethan Cutkoksy, who rose to fame as Carl Gallagher on the US version of Shameless.
Sophia Lillis as Carrie Kelley’s Robin
Over the years, not all of Batman’s Robins have been Boy Wonders, and in fact he has had three different female Robins in various iterations of the character. Of those three, perhaps the most well-known, would-be Carrie Kelley from Frank Miller’s seminal Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
If DC really want to shake up their Batman franchise, perhaps it’s well past time to introduce a big-screen female Robin, and our top pick for a live-action Carrie Kelley would be the star of It and Netflix’s I’m Not Okay With This, Sophia Lillis.
Aidan Gallagher as Damian Wayne’s Robin
One of the most recent characters to take up the mantle of Robin in the comics is non-other than Bruce Wayne’s own estranged son, Damian Wayne, once raised in secret by his mother Talia Al Ghul. Whilst Pattinson’s Batman will undoubtedly be too young to work opposite Damian as Robin, he would be a perfect offsider to Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne now that we know he’s returning for The Flash, and there are also rumours circulating that HBOMax may be looking to have him continue on in the role in some form.
In the event we see a live-action Damian Wayne, our favourite pick would be none other than The Umbrella Academy’s Number 5, Aidan Gallagher. We can envision him opposite Damian’s beloved Bat-Cow already.