The DCU’s Batman: The Brave and the Bold has a prime opportunity to fix a persistent live-action Batman movie problem over the last 26 years.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold has the opportunity to include the Bat-Family, something that has been missing from previous live-action Batman movies for 26 years.
- The upcoming Batman reboot will be part of a larger interconnected universe, allowing for the introduction of the Bat-Family on the big screen.
- The inclusion of Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s son, as the new Robin in Batman: The Brave and the Bold suggests that other key members of the Bat-Family, such as Nightwing and Batgirl, could also be featured in the film.
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The DCU’s upcoming Batman: The Brave and the Bold has the chance to fix a persistent problem with live-action versions of The Dark Knight. For the last 26 years, every movie version of Batman has gone without a significant part of his crusade in Gotham: The Bat-Family. Aside from 2017’s Justice League, Bruce Wayne has primarily been positioned as an isolated figure, hunting the corrupt of Gotham alone in the shadows. In truth, Batman should have an entire network of allies and heroes operating working in those same shadows whom he can rely on.
As was announced by new DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran at the beginning of 2023, a new DCU is coming that’s set to include a new version of Bruce Wayne with Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Unlike Robert Pattinson’s Batman and the ongoing trilogy from director Matt Reeves, this Batman reboot will be a part of the greater interconnected universe in the works. Likewise, some key reveals suggest that the time has finally come for the Bat-Family to come to the big screen in this upcoming movie.
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It’s Been 26 Years Since A Live-Action Batman Has Had A Bat-Family
The last time a live-action movie Batman had a Bat-Family was 26 years ago in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin (1997). However, this version of the Bat-Family was a simple trio consisting of George Clooney’s Batman, Chris O’Donnell as Dick Grayson’s Robin, and Alicia Silverstone as Barbara Wilson’s Batgirl. Rather than being the daughter of Commissioner Jim Gordon as she is in the original DC Comics, Silverstone’s Batgirl was the niece of Alfred Pennyworth.
Unfortunately, this version of the Bat-Family was only featured in the final acts of Batman & Robin. Likewise, the movie in and of itself was quite campy and widely panned by critics and audiences alike, and as such didn’t provide the greatest framework to show all that a Bat-Family could be on the big screen. As such, it seems as though James Gunn may be looking to take another crack at it nearly three decades later.
The Brave And The Bold Can Finally Deliver A Bat Family Once Again
It’s already been confirmed that Batman: The Brave and the Bold is set to feature Damian Wayne as Batman’s new Robin, Bruce Wayne’s biological son. As such, this does imply that the former Robins who came before Damian will already be established in this new DCU such as Dick Grayson’s Nightwing, Jason Todd’s Red Hood, and Tim Drake’s Robin. Furthermore, Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl could also be in this new Batman movie with a more faithful depiction along with the other Batgirls Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain.
Although there are plenty more members of the Bat-Family beyond those listed above, the aforementioned heroes are certainly the core members of the Bat-Family in the comics, providing Batman with an entire network of crime fighters he can rely on and a genuine family to care for and depend on in his darkest moments. It’s something that’s never been shown in earnest outside the original comics. At the very least, Batman will have Damian as his Robin, allowing for those family dynamics to be played out like never before on-screen (at least not for quite some time).
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Why DC Stayed Away From The Bat Family For So Long
There are likely a couple of reasons why it’s been so hard to give a live-action Batman a Bat-Family on-screen. First, the last version was received rather poorly, though this was mostly because the Schumacher Batman movies were pale in comparison to the ones previously directed by Tim Burton. Nevertheless, the core Bat-Family trio of Batman, Robin, and Batgirl was not put in a good light the last time they were all featured together in a full-feature film. It’s likely played a role in why future versions of the Dark Knight on-screen were drastically different with Bruce Wayne suiting up on his own (to a degree).
Batman movies have since leaned toward having more realism, and a traditionally young Bat Family is a much tougher sell within more grounded narratives as seen with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Christian Bale’s Batman had allies and help, though none were of the costumed variety save for Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman. It’s also harder to develop so many characters and arcs with sidekicks growing into heroes when Batman has constantly been rebooted over the years. To that end, the hinted concept of having some members already established by starting with Damian’s Robin is brilliant for Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Key Release Dates
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Release Date: 2023-12-20
- Joker: Folie a Deux Release Date: 2024-10-04
- Superman: Legacy Release Date: 2025-07-11
- The Batman – Part II Release Date: 2025-10-03