Now that James Gunn is rebooting the DC universe, fans can’t help but wonder how far it will deviate from the previous version and what the veteran director has in store for fan-favorite characters like Batman. As it turns out, Gunn’s fascination with legendary comic writer Grant Morisson means that he’s going to take the next live-action Batman to a place it hasn’t been since in decades.
As reported by Inverse, Gunn says that the first DCU Caped Crusader film “is the story of Batman and his actual son, Damian Wayne” and “is based on Grant Morison’s great comic book run.”
This is notable in and of itself because we haven’t had a live-action Batman and Robin story since the disastrous 1997 Joel Schumacher film Batman and Robin. That movie took its campiness a bit too far, and later directors would veer away from this: Christopher Nolan’s Batman never had a proper sidekick (though we got a belated Robin reveal in The Dark Knight Rises), and Matt Reeves’ The Batman skips the kid sidekick because the films explicitly focus on Batman’s early solo days as a crime fighter. However, Gunn wants his Batman to have a Robin, and Grant Morisson has provided the perfect inspiration.
If you’re wondering who the hell Damian Wayne is, he is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, the rebellious daughter of the ruthless Ra’s al Ghul. With a bit of Bruce Wayne’s DNA (don’t ask), Talia was able to grow Damian in an artificial womb, and he was subsequently raised by the ruthless League of Assassins (the same bad guys from Batman Begins). All of this was kept secret from Batman, but in Grant Morrison’s comic run, Talia drops the kiddo off with his father in an effort to disrupt his crimefighting mission.
Bruce Wayne ends up raising Damian, but this isn’t without difficulties: the League of Assassins taught him to murder enemies, and so he is slow to adopt Batman’s strict “no killing” policy when it comes to criminals. Damian even tried to kill former Robin Tim Drake, but he eventually blossomed into a great hero and detective worthy of the Wayne name. In addition to faithfully serving as Robin for Bruce, he eventually worked closely with Dick Grayson in Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin: in that comic, Grayson temporarily ditched his Nightwing persona to be Gotham City’s Dark Knight when Batman was seemingly dead.
Speaking of Dick Grayson, it sounds likely we will eventually see him alongside Damian Wayne onscreen. James Gunn said that while this first Batman film will be the story of Bruce and Damian Wayne, he sees the film as “the beginning of the Bat-Family in the DCU.” That implies we’re going to see more of Batman’s allies on the big screen, and though Gunn previously claimed he had no active plans to adapt Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin comic, he has admitted it is one of his favorite books, so we’re confident we’ll get to see onscreen interactions between Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne at some point.
The jury is still out on exactly how big the DCU’s Bat-Family will grow. Will we eventually see other Robins like Jason Todd and Tim Drake, or maybe get a proper Batgirl movie to make up for the one that Warner Bros. unceremoniously shelved? We may not know until the DCU premieres in 2025 with Superman: Legacy, but here’s hoping Gunn gets really weird with Grant Morrison’s writing and brings us the most underrated Bat-Family member of them all: Bat-Cow.