The Batman Fans Think We've Already Seen The Future Robin In The Movie

Movie viewers are, by this point, more than used to seeing Batman on the big screen. They know most of his major villains, his supporting cast, his gadgets and his methods, even if they've never opened a comic book in their lives. However, it seems that bringing Batman's famous sidekick and ward to the screen is more of a challenge for many filmmakers. Despite the fact that Robin is an immediately identifiable pop culture icon, his time on the big screen has been relatively scarce compared to the comics.

Christopher Nolan's trilogy of Batman films, for example, didn't include Robin at all, save for the somewhat baffling reveal of Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character's first name at the end of "The Dark Knight Rises." Joel Schumacher included the character in his oft-criticized (but underrated) "Batman Forever," followed by "Batman and Robin," but since then, the most we've seen of this brightly-garbed, orphaned circus acrobat has been a monument to his off-screen death in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." 

This exclusion of Robin continues in "The Batman." It's arguably the grimmest and most serious big screen take on Batman yet, and it can be a little hard to imagine a swashbuckling Robin within the film's established universe. But with future sequels to the blockbuster film almost certainly on the way, fans are already speculating about how Matt Reeves might find a way to link Robin up to this brooding, antisocial Robert Pattinson version of Batman, particularly given the dark new twists already given to "campy" characters like Riddler and the Penguin.

In fact, many fans think Robin has already been introduced in a covert manner.

Could Mayor Mitchell's grieving son eventually join Batman in his war on Gotham crime?

If you've seen "The Batman," you remember the grieving son of Gotham Mayor Mitchell, murdered by The Riddler in the film's unforgettable opening sequence. Bruce Wayne obviously feels a connection to the boy's grief, as it mirrors his own following the traumatic murder of his parents (this mirrors the connection that Batman often has with the various versions of Robin in the comics). That alone doesn't make the younger Mitchell a prospective Robin, but as one fan on Reddit points out, there other potential clues pointing to the kid's possible future as a caped crimefighter: "I mean, they showed him multiple times throughout the movie. Bruce felt connected with him for being an orphan. The kid was wearing a RED ninja suit and wielded a katana at the beginning... I mean come on. Just a little resemblance?"

Note that while the classic Richard Grayson version of Robin isn't known to fight with a Katana, though the Damian Wayne version does. The stronger clue here, arguably, is the kid wearing red — clearly having a love of costumes and adventure.

Some fans agree with the idea ("He gave strong Robin vibes," says one reply), while others see the character as merely a reflection of Bruce Wayne, in keeping with the story's theme Batman on an unbreakable cycle of violence and grief: "I really just took it as that kid is a reflection of what happened to Bruce Wayne. The cycle is repeating itself – batman [sic] wasn't stopping it in his current form," was the take offered by u/pheobo.

There's another character who some fans think could don Robin's mask

Furthermore, while Mitchell's son would make a good Robin in the eyes of some fans, he isn't the only potential Robin in "The Batman" — another potential candidate could be hiding in plain sight. 

Think about the gang members seen early in the film, and remember how there's one younger member — implied to be a new recruit — who seems visibly uncomfortable with the actions of the others, and even hesitates to beat up an innocent victim. He ends up running away from Batman, but could he ultimately end up running toward the Batcave ... and joining forces with the Dark Knight? 

Other than the young man's conscience and strength of character, there might not seem to be too much in the way of supporting evidence linking the character to any future version of Robin. However, he does wear a red hood, and the movie does focus on him just enough to make him stick out in the memory of viewers. 

One point against this theory: as eagle-eyed fans on Reddit have pointed out, the character is played by actor Jay Lycurgo, who is (probably by coincidence) now playing Tim Drake — yes, that's the third Robin — in "Titans" on HBO Max. Since "Titans" definitely doesn't fit into the same continuity as "The Batman," it would seem unlikely that both franchises would have the same actor playing Robin.

Ultimately, fans will have to just wait and see

If the younger Mitchell doesn't end up accepting the mantle of Robin, nor the unnamed gang member, it wouldn't be the first time that Batman fans would be disappointed by what they thought was a clue about future characters. After all, you might recall the character of Coleman Reese, played by Joshua Harto in "The Dark Knight." He's the employee of Bruce Wayne's company that memorably attempts (and fails) to blackmail the billionaire playboy with information about his secret identity. Well, at the time, there was lots of fan speculation (as later reflected on by the SuperHeroHype message boards), that because Mr. Reese sounds a lot like "mysteries," it was a clue toward him secretly being the Riddler. 

On the other hand, all those theories about Barry Keoghan's role in "The Batman" were proven true, so you never know.

As we now know, the Riddler never showed up in Nolan's Batman trilogy, so the "Mr. Reese" conundrum was either a coincidence or a red herring ... which could also be the case with young Mitchell's red Halloween costume and personal tragedy. Or maybe he will be Robin. Either way, for now, it's fun to speculate on whether or not such smaller details of "The Batman" could be hints about more significant developments later on.