With so much speculation surrounding just exactly what will be included in the new Batman Vs. Superman movie, isn’t it about time, too, that we got a decent interpretation of the Boy Wonder? Since Burt Ward’s spectacularly camp take on the character in the ’60s TV show, and Chris O’Donnell’s just all-out wrong version in the ’90s Joel Schumacher films, the closest we have had so far is a mere tease at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s city cop John Blake.
After the character’s creation in 1940, only a handful of live-action films have featured Robin. Though many fans of the DC universe hold hostile views towards the character, there is a large following for not just Robin but the whole Bat-Family in general. However, in the distaste that many fans hold for the Boy Wonder, they miss out on a lot of what he offers.
With countless characters taking up the mantle, it would also be good to finally see a Robin who isn’t Dick Grayson. Matt Damon has already publicly stated he won’t play Robin (duh!), so let’s see who else could work cloaked in all that red and black.
Here are 5 actors who I believe would be capable of donning the mask and giving us a Robin we deserve…
5. Lucas Till
Lucas Till earned his superhero stripes playing Havok in 2011′s X-Men: First Class. Despite being the youngest actor on the cast, he really could have fooled anyone – you’d never be able to tell his age from the superbly confident performance that he gives throughout the movie, which certainly makes him a prime candidate for that of the Boy Wonder.
At 23, Till would be at a fitting age to play Tim Drake towards the end of his career as Robin (if we go chronologically, we will never move on from Dick Grayson’s origins). With a solid background in action films, too, Till has proven he has the chops to play such a physical character. Though he has blonde hair, of course, in this case I think it’d be okay to forgive that, given that Till is perfect for this character in so many other ways.
4. Logan Lerman
Logan Lerman recently came into the spotlight in a whole bunch of movies, most noticeably in the Percy Jackson series and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which also starred Harry Potter actress Emma Watson. An actor from the age of 5, Lerman has had a long and successful career and has amounted a large and ever-growing following in recent years.
Looking at his past roles, it’s clear to see that Lerman has no issues with diving into characters with who are emotionally unstable, as witnessed in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Due to the long tradition of the character of Robin being an orphan, then, Lerman would be an apt choice, given his talent for emotionally driven moments and a natural tenderness (rather than the revenge-filled, “I’m too cool to be sad” Robin we saw back in 1995 with Chris O’Donnell).
Due to Lerman’s short dark hair and his being shorter than Ben Affleck (who is Batman, in case you didn’t know), he already has the Robin look down. This could leave him open to play any of the first three Robin incarnations: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd or Tim Drake. Take your pick, Mr. Lerman.
3. Ellen Page
Ellen Page’s appearance in Super as Boltie, next to The Office star Rainn Wilson, shows she looks good in a costume (as well as playing Kitty Pryde in X-Men 3: That Last Stand and upcoming Days of Future Past, which is coming out next year), which already puts her well ahead of the competition with regards to an upcoming Robin roles.
But seriously, Page’s small stature and experience in action films makes her as a fantastic choice for Stephanie Brown, the fourth Robin. With the inclusion of Stephanie, it would present an opportunity to deepen the character of Robin, through her past as The Spoiler and being invited to the Bat-Family by Batman after her and Tim Drake, the third Robin, start dating.
And Page has conquered many genres thus far: action movies, comic book movies, dramas, indie flicks, comedies… and yet, as she brilliantly showcased in thriller Hard Candy, she’s also capable of playing characters with a noticeable (and frankly terrifying) dark side. When you consider all that together, it more than qualifies Page for the part. Cast her!
2. Brie Larson
If we do end up getting a Stephanie Brown-inclined Robin, another great choice would be Brie Larson. This wonderful actress has already been featured in comic-aligned material, given her role as Scott’s ex-girlfriend in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. This showed the world that she he had the ability to study source material and present an accurate portrayal of a character. Handy.
Larson also has the advantage of bearing a strong similarity to the character of Stephanie Brown due to her long blonde hair. At 23-years-old, it does leave her a little older than the character on paper, but she convincingly played a teenager in recent comedy 21 Jump Street, so I don’t think there’s much to worry about in that department, to be honest. She’s capable.
Utilising Stephanie Brown would also open up two interesting lanes of plot for new Batman films, including the relationship between Steph and Tim, and one featuring Steph’s dad, who is a master criminal by the name of the Clue Master. Both subjects would be easily covered by the experience and ability that Larson possesses and continues to show as an actor.
1. Aaron Paul
In the event of another adult Robin being cast, there is no actor currently at work who deserves to nab (and suits) the role as Aaron Paul, who has recently impressed pretty much everyone with a television on AMC’s Breaking Bad, where he plays meth dealer Jesse Pinkman. Despite the fact that he tends to provide the comedic side of the series, the show has pushed his character much further, and we’ve seen Aaron in a completely different light as a result.
His age and appearance marks him as a perfect choice for Dick Grayson passing on the mantle as Robin and making the jump to Nightwing. In the event of a separate spin-off, too (think more Batman-orientated than the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman film), and Aaron Paul is certainly an actor capable of leading a movie on his own, away from Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. If Dick Grayson must be cast for Batman Vs. Superman, it really should be Aaron Paul – he’d nail it.