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The Alfred Line In The Batman That Might Mean More Than You Think

The following article contains spoilers for "The Batman."

There's a new version of Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman (Robert Pattinson), in town, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have all of the discernible qualities the character has become known for over the years. This version of Bruce may have longer hair and actually wear eye shadow underneath his cowl, but he still has a Batcave he ventures into when he needs to use his super-computer. He still protects Gotham from the likes of Riddler (Paul Dano) and Penguin (Colin Farrell), and he has a ton of gadgets at his disposal designed to aid him in his crusade to rid the city of crime. And he still has his loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis) ready to assist him in any way, even though he may have some reservations of the way he's going about protecting Gotham. 

Depending on the adaptation, Alfred either supports Bruce's mission wholeheartedly, or he has some reservations. The one in "The Batman" falls into the latter category, as it constantly comes up how he believes there's a better way for Bruce to honor his parents' legacy. That's not the only major departure this Alfred has from other iterations of the character.

Alfred has a history with the circus

Generally speaking, Alfred Pennyworth from the comics and subsequent adaptations had a history in the British military, going on to work in security. It makes him specially equipped to be a guardian to young Master Wayne. This is precisely the version of Alfred anyone familiar with the recent "Pennyworth" series would associate him with. Alfred from "The Batman" doesn't really detail any experience in this field, but he does let slip one aspect of his past that's rather intriguing. 

At one point when Alfred and Bruce have a heated discussion, Alfred mentions something about his days back in the circus. It may seem like a throwaway line at first, but anyone familiar with the Bat-family will know that the circus is precisely where Bruce meets his future protege, Dick Grayson, who goes on to become the first Robin.

From "Batman Forever" to "Titans," the circus is well-worn territory for the Bat-family. Before he becomes the Boy Wonder, Dick Grayson is part of the amazing Flying Graysons until his parents die in a stunt gone wrong. Dick's then adopted by Bruce Wayne and goes on to fight crime by his side. Granted, it's entirely possible this reference won't lead anywhere, but the seeds have been planted for Alfred to potentially already have a relationship with the Grayson family. Or at the very least, Alfred would have an excuse to want to check out the local circus coming to town in a future installment. 

Could Robin show up in a sequel to The Batman?

The last time Robin properly appeared in a live-action Batman film was for 1997's "Batman & Robin." He technically did have an appearance in 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises," as it's revealed that Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character's name is actually Robin at the end of the movie. However, we never get a chance to see him in costume and assume the proper mantle of the character. Then there's the DCEU, where we only get a hint of Robin's existence in the form of his costume hanging up in the Bat-Cave. Certainly, there's been enough time where a darker, grittier take on the character could take hold in a later entry in "The Batman" series. 

Robert Pattinson, the star of "The Batman," has even suggested he'd like to work alongside Robin at some point down the line. The actor spoke about bringing Robin into the mix, saying how exciting it would be to try to do the character right. He stated, "He has to be 13. That's the only way I'll accept it. No, I love 'Death in the Family' and stuff, but I think it'd be so cool. Also, people are so scared of it, but it's kind of exciting. I think it would be a really fun addition" (via The Direct).

It's interesting that Pattinson mentions "Death in the Family," seeing how that's clearly the arc Zack Snyder wanted to adapt for the DCEU. It's established that Robin's dead at the hands of Joker (Jared Leto) in his films, but we never got a chance to see that arc play out on-screen. Reeves and company could finally give us the "Death in the Family" adaptation fans have been waiting for, and it could all start with Alfred's line.