Batman: CW Builds a Series Around pre-Robin Dick Grayson

RobinThough there have been several movies and TV series centered around DC Comics’ dark knight superhero Batman, Robin the boy wonder has rarely been given the spotlight. If plans for a new CW series work out, that’s about to change.

Robin first appeared in Detective Comics in 1940. According to Batman comic book lore, Dick Grayson performed with his parents as part of The Flying Graysons, a family of acrobats. When Dick’s parents are killed by a gangster who’d been trying to extort money from the circus’ owner, Bruce Wayne sees a kindred spirit in the boy and becomes his mentor. Eventually Dick grows to adulthood, becomes an independent hero (Nightwing) and Batman takes on a few other Robin sidekicks.

Batman and Robin appeared in movie serials in the 1940s and Batman occasionally popped up on The Adventures of Superman radio show. The caped crusaders were brought to television in the 1966 Batman live-action series, starring Adam West and Burt Ward.

After that, the Batman characters became a fixture of TV animation for many years and have been featured in a dozen incarnations. The Batman movie franchise of the ’80s and ’90s included Robin (Chris O’Donnell) in the last two movies. The newest Batman movies have not included Robin and, if comments from star Christian Bale are to be believed, they aren’t likely to in the future. This may be the reason why the CW wants to give the character his own prequel series.

The CW network is currently preparing a new TV series pilot called The Graysons. The live-action project will focus on Dick Grayson’s life prior to becoming the caped crusader’s costumed sidekick. It will be executive produced by Supernatural’s McG and Peter Johnson and Smallville’s Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson. Variety reports that Graysons is being eyed as a potential replacement for Smallville which is likely to end this season. If Smallville does continue for a ninth year, the pre-Robin series would make a strong companion on the schedule.

Which former Robin should have a Graysons cameo?

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Smallville showrunners Souders and Peterson have reportedly come up with a new take on the character but aren’t saying much more than that. We do know that Graysons will be set in current times and will follow young “DJ” Grayson as he faces some typical youth challenges like early romances, rivalries, and family issues.

While the network has only committed to a pilot thus far, there would reportedly be penalties to pay if the CW doesn’t greenlight it to series.

If the show’s creators follow comics history, DJ wouldn’t meet Batman until after his parents are killed. Producers had long wanted to feature a young Bruce Wayne on Smallville but copyright issues related to the movies have prevented them from doing so. This doesn’t close the door to possible appearances by Batman-related characters or even some that began on Smallville.

Could young Dick Grayson meet a pre-Superman Clark Kent, Green Arrow, or even a pre-Batgirl Barbara Gordon? If The Graysons is given a greenlight, the chances seem very good. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

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6 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Montaye says

    I agree a Pre-Robin series would suck why make a show about a pre-teen circus performer who had a pretty easy life until his parents were killed , met bruce and became Robin. If i were to do a show about Dick Grayson i would set it as having an adult Dick moving to Bludhaven and becoming Nightwing. Add in some emotional issues with Bruce Wayne and a new supporting cast (kinda like how smallville created Clhoe Sullivan) and u might have a hit u can even crossover with smallville saying that batman exsisted long before Clark became Superman

  2. Tim says

    i have to agree with the rest of them. If they could ever get the copyright issue resolved, and bring in Bruce Wayne to smallville, then later start up a batman show… that would be good. but i don’t really like the idea of sidekicks. they just ham everything up, because they are goofy. but maybe they could bring Dick Grayson in right away as night wing. cause face it. robin is goofy sidekick and the costume looks just as lame as supermans (tights with underware on the outside). why do you think they don’t put clark in costume in Smallville.

    Lets just hope that there can be a Batman series.

  3. SKH says

    Ditto, huge mistake that will be mercifully cancelled in less than a month. Just do some other teen angst show about original characters and do not muck up the origin and identity of a well-liked and well-established (for 60 years) heroic character. This show is doomed to fail rapidly, so unless the producers plan to lose a lot of money intentionally, they should just back out now and let this turkey fold before it has a chance to embarrass its rip-off-quasi-creators.

  4. caius primus says

    I don’t like it.
    Robin doesn’t have enough charisma to have his own show.
    Aquaman should replace Smallville.The pilot was fantastic.

  5. Rick says

    Pre-Robin series? So they’re making a show about a kid in a circus?
    While I LOVE the idea of a Robin series, a pre-robin series doesn’t have anything to offer fans of Robin or Batman. Unlike Smallville, they cant use the villains to play of and Dick Grayson has no special powers so I cant see any appeal and it looks like a huge mistake.
    Aquaman anyone?

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