In the history of Batman live-action projects, Robin has always gotten short shrift. The 1960s TV series seemed to have haunted filmmaker Tim Burton when he made his blockbuster 1989 live-action movie, and he vowed to never succumb to the character’s “Golly gee whillickers” teen sidekick chemistry with the Dark Knight. Joel Schumacher’s live-action Batman & Robin with Chris O’Donnell’s Boy Wonder bombed hard enough that writer/director sidelined the character’s debut in his Dark Knight trilogy until the final moments of the final film.
But one fan on Reddit is hungry for a taste of Dick Grayson and found the perfect film to serve as a blueprint for Robin’s introduction to the DCEU:
True Grit was a 1969 Western based on a Charles Portis novel of the same name, which starred John Wayne in the Oscar-winning role of Rooster Cogburn, a dissipated U.S. Marshall who gets it together to help Mattie, a headstrong teenage girl (Kim Darby) bring her father’s killers to justice. The film costars singer/songwriter Glen Campbell as La Beouf, a Texas Ranger who tries to hijack Mattie’s revenge mission. Campbell also was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song. The supporting cast includes acting greats Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, and Strother Martin.
In the comics, Grayson is the son of a family of acrobats who are murdered by a mob boss attempting to extort the circus for which they work. Billionaire Bruce Wayne adopts Dick and takes him on as his partner Robin. As Robin ages out of their partnership, he spent time as a solo named Nightwing, moving on to the neighboring city of Büdhaven in 1996 and acting as its protector for the next 13 years.
A film in which a headstrong Dick Grayson recruits a dissipated Commissioner Gordon of the Gotham police while fighting with, and quietly growing attracted to, a young, handsome Batman who attempts to send him home because a blood vengeance is no place for a boy could be a good template for the beginning of a Batman trilogy.
True Grit was remade by the Coen Brothers in 2010.