After several iterations of Batman portrayed by Christian Bale, Batfleck, Battinson, and with Michael Keaton’s upcoming return, one might assume that Warner Bros. would take a break from recasting the Dark Knight and his allies. Nevertheless, Hollywood’s cycle of reboots persists. James Gunn and Peter Safran’s scheme for a new DC film and television universe, which they’ve named the DCU, includes yet another forthcoming live-action Batman rendition. However, this one might distinguish itself from its predecessors.
Robert Pattinson’s “The Batman” franchise remains separate from the new DCU film and television universe, which will introduce a new Dark Knight in “The Brave and the Bold.” The upcoming movie, based on Grant Morrison’s popular comic book run, will focus on Bruce Wayne’s relationship with his long-lost son, Damian Wayne, who was fully revealed as the grown child of Bruce and Talia al Ghul in Morrison’s 2006 run. While Damian’s origins date back to the 1987 comic “Batman: Son of the Demon,” it was Morrison who truly shaped the character, and now he is set to make his live-action debut.
“The Brave and the Bold” offers a lot of potential for a Batman and Robin story featuring Damian, but the movie promises more than just that. For years, Batman’s portrayal in live-action adaptations has been largely characterized by a particular interpretation of the character – a dark, brooding, and isolated crimefighter. However, this new film could mark a departure from that traditional mold.
Since the notorious “Batman and Robin” in 1997, the beloved Boy Wonder has been absent from the big screen, except for a fleeting appearance at the end of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Some fans may be apprehensive about Robin’s return to live-action, given his flashy costume and witty humor, which do not fit the somber tone of previous Batman films. However, the mere inclusion of the character in “The Brave and the Bold” does not necessarily indicate the film’s tone, but it could imply a more lighthearted approach.
The inclusion of Robin, particularly Damian Wayne, in “The Brave and the Bold” brings the potential for a different interpretation of Batman that breaks away from the brooding, isolated archetype portrayed by Bale, Affleck, and Pattinson. Although Robin’s previous film portrayal in “Batman and Robin” may worry some fans, his presence in this film suggests a lighter tone overall. While Damian is the darkest Robin, the film doesn’t have to rely on cringe quips or goofy gadgets to make the character work.
However, the inclusion of a brooding sidekick also requires a more composed and inspiring Batman, as seen in various Justice League cartoons in the 21st century. Part of why the various Justice League cartoons of the 21st century are so beloved is because they show Batman as a composed and inspiring leader. Hopefully, this is what fans will see in this new film.
The Brave and the Bold title suggests a very different tone
The name of Gunn and Safran’s new feature, “The Brave and the Bold,” should be of interest to fans of Batman and DC alike. The title references two previous works: the 2008 Cartoon Network animated series “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” and the classic DC comic series of the same name, which spanned from 1955 to 1983. While the latter featured numerous characters and stories beyond Batman, it was primarily focused on team-ups. In contrast, the former had a notably younger target audience and was one of the least dark portrayals of the Caped Crusader to date, in contrast to previous shows like “Batman: The Animated Series.”
Despite being a modern blockbuster, Gunn and Safran’s “The Brave and the Bold” is expected to have a more lighthearted and animated tone than recent “Batman” films, likely appealing to a broader audience beyond just children. The film’s focus on team-ups, inspired by the “Brave and the Bold” comics, suggests that other members of the Bat-Family will feature alongside Damian. Safran has stated that this is to rectify the lack of representation for these characters in previous Batman films.
The complex relationships between Damian and other former Robins, like Tim Drake and Dick Grayson, in Morrison’s run could also provide further storyline potential, though the DCU appears to be sticking with Bruce Wayne as Batman for now.
James Gunn doesn’t do self-serious superheroes
James Gunn has become a well-known name in Hollywood thanks to his distinctive approach to superhero films. His movies rely on a combination of humor and sincere storytelling that has earned him both critical and commercial success. This style is evident in his work on the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films as well as his contributions to the DC universe, such as “The Suicide Squad” and “Peacemaker.” Gunn believes that the inherent fun and playfulness of comic book stories are essential for their success. Despite the emotional depth and complexity of characters in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Gunn never sacrifices the film’s entertainment value.
Gunn won’t be involved in every DCU project, but his significant role suggests that upcoming films may have a different tone. The previous versions of Batman have been overly serious, but with Gunn’s involvement, it’s unlikely that his take on the Dark Knight will be the same. According to Gunn, Damian Wayne is his favorite Robin, acknowledging the character’s unique upbringing and potential for humor. This balance between fun and respect could lead to an exciting new iteration of the “Batman” movie.
With The Batman – Part 2 still coming, there’s room for some variety
In the past, a “Batman” film with a lighter, more cartoonish tone could have been seen as a risky move for DC and Warner Bros. This is because in recent years, the character has become known for being the embodiment of grimdark genre stories, which has attracted a large fan base. If fans were left waiting for years without any new “Batman” content, a shift towards a more lighthearted approach could have resulted in major backlash. However, in today’s world, the risk of running out of “Batman” content is non-existent.
“The Batman — Part II” is still on the way despite all other DCU plans and projects. An official release date has been announced- October 3, 2025. This has lighted a hope with Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson to bring forward all the noir stylings and angsty montages you could ask for. The first film was surely a blast and that’s why we don’t see any reason duplicating it.
Why not allow “The Batman” to be its own thing, and also let “The Brave and the Bold” take a different approach? With the continued popularity of the darker Batman, it’s understandable to hesitate to make a change, but the risk of backlash is low and there’s potential to attract new audiences. This is the perfect moment to explore a lighter version of the character, without compromising the existing grimdark interpretation.