In a recent interview with Buzzfeed, Daniel Radcliffe (best known as Harry Potter, obviously) made the comment that the next franchise he would like to join would be Batman.
Batman. If they reboot that again I’ll do that too. It’s happening, isn’t it? With Ben Affleck. I could be Robin, I’m perfect.
Interesting thought, isn't it? And yes, it is just a thought. While the franchise is being re-booted with [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870), this is Radcliffe answering a series of rapid-fire questions, and it doesn't mean that he is actively seeking the role or that it is something that is going to happen.
That said, I can see it. The build, the age (sort of), the features - it could work.
So if they did decide to bring Radcliffe into the reboot, which Robin should he play?
1. Dick Grayson
This is the most obvious choice for many, seeing as Dick Grayson is the original Robin, however, it's not my pick for Daniel Radcliffe or for a live-action movie. For one thing, while all of the Robins start out fairly young, Grayson is the one who seems most like a child to me. A big part of that is obviously related to the time that the character was introduced - a pre-teen in the 50's and 60's seems a lot younger than a pre-teen now. That said, I would think that to play Grayson, you would have to actually use a child actor. Radcliffe ten years ago would have done a great job, but he is too old now!
There are other elements to the Boy Wonder that I'm not a fan of; he is the most upbeat of the Robins, and I like my Batman dark! That said, there is amazing potential for the scene where Batman kicks him out on his own, and I would love to see the introduction of [Nightwing](movie:1069726).
2. Jason Todd
This is my top pick for a Robin in a live-action film, and I think it suits Daniel Radcliffe to a tee! Far from the cheerful Grayson, Todd is one of my favorite kinds of superhero; dark, troubled, and with a habit of going from bad to good and then back again. I love how he, like Grayson, goes on to become another character (Red Hood), but I prefer this one, because he comes back to play with the bad guys.
I want to see Batman struggling with the anger in his sidekick, I want to see the similarities in how he has had to deal with his own anger and desire for vengeance. With the reboot, we get to reboot the Joker, and have him kill Robin (who doesn't want to see that?). Finally, I can imagine a sequel, with the Red Hood appearing, and Batman being forced to battle his former protege. That is the kind of sidekick story I would like to see, rather than a chirpy, happy Boy Wonder.
3. Tim Drake
While Tim Drake is a great Robin, it would be pretty difficult to include him without any of the backstory of previous Robins. His incarnation starts with Batman's reaction to the death of Jason Todd, and he works with Nightwing in the process of becoming Robin. Of course, if other superhero movies have taught us anything, it's that origin stories can be completely re-written for a live-action. Introducing Robin is, in a lot of ways, a way to cash in on another famous character, and it's possible to just include him as a sidekick without any backstory whatsoever.
The one real reason that I would like to see this version of Robin is that he is a bit older, a teenager rather than a kid, and that choosing this version allows us a little romance! Yup, I'm a bit of a girly girl, and I always want a love-interest with my superheros.
4. Stephanie Brown
Ok, obviously Daniel Radcliffe isn't going to be playing this particular version any time soon, but I couldn't just leave her out! The first female Robin, Stephanie takes over for Tim Drake when he has to step down. She may not be the best known Robin, but I would actually love to see her in a movie. I think that the combination of a male superhero and female sidekick is amazing, and then we could watch her take on the mantle of Batgirl.
5. Damian Wayne
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This is by far my least favorite Robin. A huge part of that is that I just do not enjoy the father-son dynamic. I think there are so many more interesting things to do with a sidekick, and this leans a little too much toward cliches of "carrying on the family legacy". Yawn. It's also not a backstory that can be ignored - it would be relatively easy to accept the appearance of a character as well known as Robin, but it would be much harder to accept the sudden appearance of a son without explanation. I just do not think that Damian Wayne is a character that many casual movie-goers would be happy to see.
While I would be on board with the addition of a Robin to the new Batman movies, I think it would have to be carefully handled. Daniel Radcliffe would make an amazing Jason Todd, but as has happened before, I assume that we would see someone younger playing Dick Grayson.
Of course, the other option is to do something similar to Joseph Gordon-Levitt's role in [The Dark Knight Rises](movie:39011); take the name and create a new character entirely to be Robin. Although it may frustrate some fans, I wouldn't mind seeing a totally original Robin in the movies - maybe even another female one!
What do you think?