So we've all had a chance to see the second Batman vs Superman trailer shown at Comic-Con. One of the standout moments was when Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne walked past the Robin costume hanging in the Batcave. An old, tattered, bullet-holed, defaced Robin costume. Jason Todd's Robin costume. Now that it's clear that Robin is a part of this universe, it's not a far stretch to say that Nightwing must exist. Because for Jason Todd to have been beaten, Death in the Family style, to death by the Joker, Dick Grayson must have already vacated the role of the Boy Wonder. So that brings the question:
How should DC introduce the Bat Family into their cinematic universe?
Here's a few suggestions that will probably never reach the big-wigs at Warner/DC.
1. Start with Tim Drake
Tim Drake is the logical next step after Jason Todd. Following Todd's death, Batman goes Robinless, and becomes increasingly more violent. Noticing this, Drake steps in and puts himself forward to be the next Robin. After Bruce's grueling training process, Drake takes up the mantle alongside the Dark Knight. A brilliant chance to introduce this version of Robin has already been missed. Unless DC have managed to keep one secret closely guarded, Tim Drake is not appearing in Batman vs Superman. That would have been the time. Noticing Batman's violence and reckless abandon against Superman, Tim steps up and becomes Robin. Now that chance is gone, the next best opportunity is the first Justice League movie. After the battle is done (presumably against a villain like Doomsday), Affleck's violent Batman would find his path crossed by a young Tim Drake who, having already deduced the Caped Crusader's identity, offers himself as the new Robin. A role like this could also give a young actor a launching pad for his career, or the casting of an up-and-comer like Asa Butterfield (the first name that sprang to mind. But hey, he's free now he's missed out on Spider-Man, so why not?) would add another name to an already impressive cast (Affleck, Cavill, Gadot, Miller, Momoa, Fisher and possibly Pine. Who wouldn't see a superhero movie with those names?). This could also lead nicely into the solo Batman film, and perhaps even spawn a Teen Titans-style team up movie, with Drake taking the identity of Red Robin.
2. Back to the beginning
Disco-suit aside, the next introduction should be Dick Grayson. The beloved first Robin, now Nightwing, Dick himself has several ways to be introduced: Batman flashback, origin story, easter egg, and so on. But the way that makes the most sense is that Dick is already Nightwing. There have been reports of a Dick Grayson tombstone in BvS, but that shouldn't be the only inclusion of a character like him in the DCCU, if those reports do indeed turn out to be true. Having Dick show up as Nightwing in an end credit scene, like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, would be a neat introduction, providing him the platform to appear in future films, perhaps alongside Red Robin in that Teen Titans movie I'd so love to see. Given his past relationship with a certain character, Dick would also be the in for the next member of the Bat Family...
Barbara Gordon. The Commissioner's daughter. Batgirl. Oracle. However it's done, DC should take the Barbara Gordon ball and run with it. With little-to-no recognition in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, and her major role in [Batman: Arkham Knight](tag:2683936), Barbara Gordon is an opportunity waiting to be taken. Barbara's intelligence rivals that of Batman, with an eidetic memory allowing her to recall pretty much anything. Barbara can give Affleck's Batman much needed assistance, and with the popularity of Arrow's Felicity Smoak on The CW, she should be a hit with fans if cast and written well. Not only is she valuable as Oracle, she can also don the cape and cowl for an adventure or two as Batgirl. Hey, DC need characters for their second slate of movies. There are, again, more ways than one to introduce her. A great chance that, again, is most likely missed would be in next year's Suicide Squad, where Jared Leto's Joker could be shown to shoot her through the spine, as per The Killing Joke, in one of the origin-flashbacks they seem to be doing. Now, controversy aside, that book is one of the greatest Batman/Joker stories of all time, and seeing as Leto's Joker already seems inspired by the story...
... it seems to make sense.
4. Under the Red Hood
He's baaaaack! Jason Todd, returning to the Batman story all the way from the grave. The suit in BvS is a hint, and the solo Batman film should be all about him. The animated Batman: Under the Red Hood movie is incredible, and a live-action adaptation following a similar (but not identical) story would be perfect for Batman's first solo outing. The inclusion of Red Hood (in more ways than one) in Arkham Knight is an acknowledgement of the character's popularity, and seeing Jason Todd show up in as big a way as the first solo outing of the DCCU Batman will bring an importance to the character that will last for a long while. The film, of course, would focus on Batman coming to terms with this new vigilante who isn't afraid to kill. Jared Leto could feature in what would be an unbelievably haunting performance, torturing and murdering Jason before Batman can save him. Then, we can have the first inclusion of the great Ra's al Ghul, following the brilliant performances of Liam Neeson (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises) and Matt Nable (Arrow), Ra's would restore Todd to life with the mystical waters of Lazarus Pit. This would lead Todd to Gotham for revenge on both Batman and the Joker, and to a war on crime with fatalities that the Dark Knight can't ignore. Simply put, Under the Red Hood would be the ultimate payoff for the Bat Family
We had to have her sooner or later, and what better way than to follow Jason Todd back into Batman's life? Logically, Selina Kyle probably already exists in this DC universe. However, a 40+ year-old Catwoman isn't exactly what the audience will want to see. So, as DC seem fairly happy bending timelines and origins to suit them, Selina could just be coming onto the scene in Gotham as Jason Todd returns. Maybe the Red Hood tries to foil a bank robbery, only to be bettered by a mysterious girl in a catsuit. Selina can cause havoc in Gotham while Bruce fights his former protégé, and can be revisited at the end of the movie. If this isn't the way to go (it may be an unnecessary inclusion in a movie that could be the best live-action Batman story since The Dark Knight), the end credits once again provide an easy way in.
What about Carrie Kelley?
There have been rumours of Jena Malone being cast as Carrie in Batman v Superman for a while now. However, Malone is 30 years old, 17 years older than Carrie in The Dark Knight Returns (which, as I'm sure almost everyone knows, is Zack Snyder's main point of reference for the film). Now, I'm not saying they should cast a 13 year old girl as Robin in the cinematic universe. But a young, female Robin, probably between 16 and 22, would do the trick if Malone isn't already cast.
So there we have it. The Bat Family and their way in to the DC Cinematic Universe. I'm sure there'll be a few disagreements, so feel free to contradict. But at the end of the day, we all want to see these characters appear on the big screen, so there will always be different ways we'd want them to be introduced.