Robin's return: New Batman movie The Brave and The Bold to bring Boy Wonder to the DCU

Who is Robin in The Brave and the Bold, and what does Damian Wayne mean for the DCU?

  • Batman's sidekick Robin is finally returning to the DC movies in The Brave and The Bold

  • The movie will adapt Grant Morrison’s Batman and Son comic arc from 2006

  • This will be the first proper live-action big screen Robin since 1997’s Batman & Robin

  • But who is Damien Wayne, and how does he differ to Dick Grayson?

Damien Wayne's Robin as he appears in the DC Comics. (DC Comics)
Damien Wayne's Robin as he appears in the DC Comics. (DC Comics)

It’s a brave (and bold) new world over at Warner Bros. as new DC bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran launch the new DC Universe. Best-known for his work on the Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad, Gunn is taking a leaf out of the MCU’s book for the DCU Chapter 1: Gods & Monsters.

Alongside a packed slate that sees the return of Viola Davis for an Amanda Waller solo series, there’s the arrival of The Authority, a True Detective-inspired Green Lantern show, and the much-hyped Superman reboot.

While it looks like we’re once again sowing the seeds of the Justice League, it wouldn’t be right if we weren’t lighting up the Bat-Signal. Thankfully, The Brave and the Bold could do just that.

Read more: Every upcoming DC movie and TV show

So, just what is The Brave and the Bold, and how can Damian Wayne bring a new version of Robin along for the ride?

The Brave and the Bold

Batman: The Brave and the Bold (DC Comics)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (DC Comics)

Despite there being an animated The Brave and the Bold series of the same name, don’t expect the DCU’s version to take any cues from it — especially not its crossover with Scooby-Doo.

Instead, the live-action movie is based on Grant Morrison’s Batman and Son from 2006. The movie will introduce a “new” Bruce Wayne and team the Detective with his illegitimate son, Damian.

Read more: Every upcoming MCU movie and TV show

Even though it’s hard to keep track of the Bat Family these days, Damian Wayne is about as important as they come in modern DC Comics. Batman and Son reimagined the backstory of Bruce’s offspring from 1987’s Batman: Son of the Demon, establishing Damian as his wayward son. Damian is a deadly addition to this lore due to the fact he’s the love child of Bruce and Talia al Ghul.

Marion Cottilard's Miranda Tate was revealed to be Talia al Ghul in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises. (Warner. Bros/Alamy)

Unlike adopting his father’s no-kill rule, Damian’s tutelage under the League of Shadows means he’s a bloodthirsty vigilante. Although there’s no confirmation on what rating The Brave and The Bold is going for, the fact Gunn described Damian as “a little son of a bitch” during the announcement suggests this won’t be one for kids.

Then again, Matt Reeves already gave us a violet and brooding outing with The Batman, so we’re hoping for some The Suicide Squad-inspired humour alongside all the bloodshed.

Given that Safran told us that The Brave and the Bold will feature extended members of the Bat Family because “they’ve been left out of the Batman stories in the theatre for far too long,” Jason Todd’s appearance in Batman and Son makes the second Robin/Red Hood a likely candidate.

Characters including Talia al Ghul and Alfred Pennyworth seem probable, while villains ranging from the Joker to Man-Bat also played a part in Morrison's run.

The Boy Wonder

Chris O'Donnell & George Clooney Film: Batman & Robin (USA/UK 1997) Characters: Robin,Batman  Director: Joel Schumacher 12 June 1997   **WARNING** This Photograph is for editorial use only and is the copyright of WARNER BROS. and/or the Photographer assigned by the Film or Production Company and can only be reproduced by publications in conjunction with the promotion of the above Film. A Mandatory Credit To WARNER BROS. is required. The Photographer should also be credited when known. No commercial use can be granted without written authority from the Film Company.
Chris O'Donnell & George Clooney as Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne in Batman & Robin (1997). (Warner Bros.)

Outside of being the fifth Robin, Damian Wayne had gained popularity since he made his television debut in an episode of the animated Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

He’s also had a major presence in DC Animated Movie Universe, and more recently, is voiced by Jacob Tremblay in the adult Harley Quinn series. Apart from a multitude of animated movies, the story of Robin/Robins has largely been left frozen by Mr Freeze. Jump forward to 2023, and Gunn happily announced that Damian Wayne is his favourite Robin.

Importantly, this will be the first (official) live-action Robin since Chris O’Donnell played Dick Grayson in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin.

American actors Adam West as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Burt Ward as Dick Grayson/Robin in the TV series 'Batman', circa 1966.  (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Adam West as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Burt Ward as Dick Grayson/Robin in the TV series Batman, circa 1966. (Getty Images)

Away from Burt Ward playing Robin in the campy ‘60s series and Tim Burton's plans to cast Marlon Wayans as Master Dick in his Batman Returns sequel that never came to be, O’Donnell squeezed into spandex for Batman Forever and its 1997 sequel — rubber nipples and all.

It’s true that Joseph Gordon-Levitt played John Blake in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, but apart from a throwaway line about his nickname being Robin, we can hardly count that.

Read more: Mind-blowing Batman movies that nearly got made

The DCEU then killed off its Robin before the cameras rolled, with Zack Snyder confirming (via Cinema Debate) the suit in Ben Affleck’s Batcave belonged to Dick Grayson, who was murdered by Jared Leto’s Joker.

Because a proper iteration of Robin is on the way, bringing back the dynamic duo for The Brave and the Bold is a big deal.

Elsewhere in the Elseworlds

Robert Pattinson in The Batman (2022), directed by Matt Reeves. DC Entertainment/Warner Bros.

Remember, The Brave and the Bold’s versions of the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder are entirely separate from the ones we could see in Matt Reeves Batman movie.

While fan casts put the likes of Jensen Ackles and Aidan Gallagher as Bruce and Damian, they'll only be the mainline Batman and Robin. Even though Gunn and Safran are largely nixing the remnants of the DCEU, movies including The Batman Part II and Todd Phillips’ Joker: Folie à Deux fall under an Elseworld branch.

Read more: Everything we know about Joker 2

Much like DC Comics publishing imprint that started in 1989, Elseworlds movies will be set outside the main continuity of the DCU. Think of these as standalone that won’t have to share actors or plot threads.

Giving us the option of multiple Boy Wonders, another young star could play Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, or Damian Wayne alongside Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne. Considering Bruce’s relatively junior status as the Dark Knight in The Batman Part II, it’s more likely to be a young(er) Dick Grayson.

The Batman (Warner Bros.)
The Batman (Warner Bros.)

Reeves was originally tapped for a Battinson trilogy, and while we’ve only recently got confirmation of Part II, there’s plenty of scope for its own Robin. Some even thought Titans actor Jay Lycurgo playing an unnamed thug could be cueing up a new Robin.

Couple that with Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz) heading off to Grayson’s stomping ground of Blüdhaven, and there are plenty of Robin theories that we’re waiting to see if they’ll pay off.

Read more: Was The Snyder Cut worth the wait?

Reeves told the Happy Sad Confused podcast Robin is only a “maybe” for Part II, but if not, everything from the Arkham Asylum series to Colin Farrell-led Penguin show could see Robin spread his wings.

Sadly, Damian Wayne is likely still a way off. Superman: Legacy is tipped to be the jumping-off point for the DCU, and that’s not due to premiere until 11 July, 2025.

The Batman Part II is out on 3 October the same year, and as we doubt The Brave and the Bold will want to clash with it, look to at least 2026 until Damian Wayne is able to fly the nest.

The Brave and the Bold is in development at Warner Bros. now.

Watch a trailer for 1989's Batman below.