One of the least egregiously wrong things about 1995's Batman Forever (aside from the inclusion of Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" on the soundtrack) was the fact that they didn't get Robin's origin completely wrong. Dick Grayson and his parents were acrobats in a traveling circus, and the parents were killed by a gangster. Why they were killed and by what gangster doesn't really matter, just that Batman took the orphaned boy in and taught him to fight crime, grooming the man who would one day be his successor... you know, if he doesn't get horribly killed in the line of duty first. Well, the producers of Smallville have decided that if Joel Schumacher himself can't destroy something that isn't broken, then they sure as hell can. The show's creators weren't allowed to do Batman: The Early Years, so now their successors are going to do Robin: The Beginning.
According to Variety, Smallville executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson, along with their scrappy sidekick McG (executive prod on Supernatural), are prepping a series for the CW about Robin's early years, called The Graysons. The one-hour series will introduce us to Dick "DJ" Grayson, who now has two wholly outdated names, before he donned the red-and-yellow tights. He'll face "challenges" involving first loves, young rivals and his family, none of which will prepare him to go up against a homicidal clown or a dwarf with a flock of killer egrets. While the story doesn't go into detail about where this will all take place, I'm worried like hell that it's not going to take place at a traveling circus, because Variety says Souders and Peterson have come up with an "original take" on the character. (I guess the cancellation of Carnivale has killed the "traveling circus" genre.) But if it doesn't take place at a frickin' circus, then it isn't Dick Grayson! It's Jason Todd or Tim Drake, the second and third Robins in the comic books, whose names apparently aren't famous enough to get their own show. And, seriously, what percentage of Americans know Robin's name is Dick Grayson, anyway?
The most interesting thing the article says is that the show is a potential replacement for Smallville, which may very well be in its last season now that Clark and Chloe are the only people left from the original cast. This could be a blessing, because... have you seen the show? The only flaw in the CW's logic is that the people who are prepping this show are the same people who are currently trying to hammer Tom Welling into the character of Clark Kent everyone grew up with. Can you imagine what would have happened if Batman Begins had never existed, and Smallville had been a show about a young Bruce Wayne, as originally planned, instead of a young Clark Kent? Criminy. After reading our interview with Brian Peterson and seeing how many heroes they had to work with, I was kinda psyched about the coming season and vaguely curious about a hypothetical Season 9. But after only two episodes, I'm ready for the CW to stick a fork in it. And hopefully, The Graysons will be a fitting portrait of Robin as a young man, and not just another giant turkey.
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