While there’s nothing officially listed on WB’s timetable, we pretty much know for certain that a solo Batman movie is on the way. While most of the grapevine talk thus far though has been about whether Ben Affleck would both star and direct, a new rumour has now popped up on JoBlo that gives us our first real hint at the story direction the film may take.
According to the report, the movie’s script will be drawing heavily on elements taken from both the “Death in the Family” and “Under the Red Hood” comic book storylines, both of which revolve around the character Jason Todd. For the non-comic book readers, you probably know that Dick Grayson was Batman’s first Robin, and he eventually grew up to become the hero Nightwing, while the young Tim Drake then became Robin. But between Dick and Tim there was actually another Robin by the name of Jason Todd.
He wasn’t as athletically gifted as Dick, and didn’t have the detective skills of Tim but what made him famous was the way he died: Fans had a divisive response to the character, so in 1988’s “Death in the Family” story, DC Comics held a telephone poll to ask readers to vote on whether he lived or died. Unfortunately, he got the thumbs down, and was promptly beaten to death with a crowbar by the Joker.
But this is comic books we’re talking about here, so through utterly ridiculous logic – Superboy punched reality so hard that he undid the results of the real-life poll – seriously – he was resurrected again, except this time he wasn’t a good guy any longer as he decided to get revenge on Batman for not preventing his death. He would adopt the identity of the mysterious Red Hoods and committed a series of crimes, leaving clues that implicated Batman as the perpetrator.
Eventually though, with DC Comics’ universe-wide New 52 reboot, the Red Hood was retooled from a straight villain to an anti-hero, occasionally working with the rest of the Bat-family, but willing to take extreme measures to get the job done.
According to JoBlo, the Batman movie will be taking cues from all of this, with Jason Todd also returning from his supposed death as the Red Hood and framing Batman for revenge, but this time also leaving clues for Batman to his real identity. And we may have already seen the first of those clues in the Batman v Superman trailers as Affleck’s Bruce Wayne looks at a newspaper clipping with the words “You let your family die” scrawled across it.
It’s also said that while Red Hood will be an antagonist in the film and play a major role in the story, Jared Leto’s Joker will actually be the “primary villain” – the relationship between the two is still uncertain. JoBlo’s sources indicate that DC want Red Hood to be their answer to Marvel’s Winter Soldier; “former sidekicks gone evil and seeking a chance at redemption”. Other reports indicate that he is apparently a “priority character” for DC who want to cash in on his current comic book popularity.
Also included in the cast will be a grown-up Dick Grayson who by the time we get introduced to this world had already hung up the Robin pixie boots years ago to become Nightwing. As fans have been asking for Nightwing to eventually join the Batman movie universe for years, I really hope that if there’s one part of this rumour that pans out it’s this one. The character is too good to have never seen the silver screen yet.
The movie is still at least a good couple of years away, and the script – which will be co-written by Affleck and DC Comics’ veteran Geoff Johns – could still go through many iterations before then, so don’t take any of this as fact, but it does sound pretty cool.
Last Updated: November 2, 2015