Prepare for that sweet taste of nostalgia, while we don the cape and cowl to hop in the Batmobile back to 1992. With a PVC-clad Michelle Pfeiffer strutting her stuff, Danny DeVito as the hook-nosed Oswald Cobblepot, and Michael Keaton back in the suit for the final time, Batman Returns holds a special place in the hearts of many a Bat-Fan. However, when #TimBurton's sequel eventually hit cinemas, it was a very different beast to the blockbuster that Warner Bros. had imagined would follow the predecessor.
Most notably, plans to include Robin and Two-Face were scrapped mid-film to make way for a more streamlined outing. It would've really put the Catwoman among the pigeons to have the dynamic duo, Max Shreck, Penguin, Harvey Dent, and Selina Kyle all go head to head, so a toned-down cast of characters may have worked in the film's favor. Now #comicbook artist Bart Sears has shared some long-lost sketches of how Robin was supposed to take flight over the crime-riddled streets of Gotham City.
Fly Away Home
Taking to Twitter, Sears showcased his scribbles from an untitled Batman Returns project he had been working on prior to the movie's release. Steve Erwin and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez drew a comic book adaptation of Batman Returns later in 1992, but this wasn't the project that Sears was working on. Reportedly, his sketches come from "trace plates" for a children's activity book, which obviously started before Sears knew that Warner Bros. had smashed those teeny Robin eggs.
Dick Grayson was originally slated to appear in Burton's sequel, and even had #MarlonWayans attached to play a garage mechanic with a familiar-looking R on his overalls. Even with Wayans making it to a costume fitting, the script rewrite erased a presumed return for Billy Dee Williams as Dent from the 1989 movie, as well as all mention of a street hoodlum named Robin. The rest is history, and everyone knows that Robin was eventually shelved until that maligned Joel Schumacher era of the Caped Crusader.
Notice that Sears's Robin sketches are a million miles away from the Robin outfit that Chris O'Donnell would ultimately wear for Batman Forever in 1995. You can see Schumacher's kitsch themes running through that iteration of Robin, but we can only imagine what the dark and brooding Boy Wonder would've been brought to our screens in the Burtonverse.
Although the drawing is only vague, the Robin suit seems to have actual wings — similar to Keaton's Batsuit — while Batman himself has some underwater breathing apparatus. Given that the film went splashing in the depths of Penguin's sewer lair, it is safe to assume that the Dynamic Duo were set to get wet on their crimefighting adventure. Sadly, it is all that Sears gives us, and there are no further sketches showing how the finished Robin would've looked, but at least we can't see any rubber nipples.
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