October 25, 2014

Jena Malone Confirmed For BATMAN V SUPERMAN But Is She Really Playing Robin?

It's safe to say we'll be seeing some major female-power with Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) will make her debut before heading-off for her own solo adventure in 2017. Lois Lane (Amy Adams) is our civilian observer of the film, along with Tao Okamoto (The Wolverine) and Jena Malone (Sucker Punch, Hunger Games, Donnie Darko) taking key supporting roles. It's rumored that Tao is playing Lex Luther's personal bodyguard Mercy Graves, which makes sense considering her costume seen on set looks a lot like a professional's uniform.

However, things get a little more murky when it comes to Jena Malone. We don't have set images to work with and she was only recently confirmed by THR for a role. This role wasn't named, but there was quick speculation by others. Because the film is taking influence from Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns comics, people are automatically assuming she is playing Carrie Kelley. The ambitious young protege of tired and grizzled Batman and becomes the newest Robin. Batman of course hates the idea, this is of course years after the death of last Robin and after his own retirement. Bruce is pulled out of his calm twilight-years to deal with a growing menace plaguing Gotham. This time in the form of a underground gang of punks known as The Mutants, who plan on terrorizing the city. Doesn't this sound similar to the plot of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Rises? Well it should because Nolan and the co-writers pulled from all different comic book sources for their trilogy. Something I assume will be happening with Zack Snyder's DC universe, pulling from different sources to make the best films possible.

The closest thing to a confirmation that Jena is playing Robin, is that she didn't give comment to a gossip reporter when asked about it. That's a very weak argument, considering she just signed a non-disclosure contract for the role (like ever actor and crew member). She couldn't even talk about her role unless the studio gave her the okay. Remember the months that Jason Momoa had to keep mum about Aquaman?

It's unlikely this film will be adapted completely from the Miller material. Mainly, because we won't get the Mutants or Green Arrow in the film. I also doubt Ronald Reagan will be appearing as the President, although Nixon did show-up in Snyder's Watchmen. The Justice League cameos are something new as well, which could mean a lot of shake-ups concerning the plot and how much is being pulled from Miller's stuff.

I'm not 100% convinced she is actually playing Carrie. First thing, where the hell did Nightwing go? We had been hearing for months before production that there was a role for Dick Grayson in the film. The two heroes would reunite after going their separate ways. This part was rumored to be up for grabs and Adam Driver was linked for it. Driver instead went with a bigger role in J.J. Abrams' Star Episode VII and it was the last we heard of Nightwing. It's possible he was written-out completely by Chris Terrio's production polishes on the script.

It's possible that Nightwing has been replaced with another one of Batman's sidekicks that has branched-out. One that comes to mind would be the seldom used Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl. She was a staple of the original Adam West series, and has grown to become an important member of the comics universe. The daughter of police chief Jim Gordon, she along with Robin worked alongside Batman for years.

Both Robin and Batgirl haven't been seen on screen since Batman And Robin, and fans have been edgy about using the two ever since. Even thought she's been taken more seriously thanks to the animated series and comics like Alan Moore's The Killing Joke. Another excellent piece of comic lore that needs to be explored in this new film universe.

I wouldn't be shocked if Batgirl was also a former Robin and has gone her separate ways. Allowing room for Nightwing to be still kicking around, but giving more a female presence in Gotham. Should Affleck decided to direct future films, setting-up supporting heroes would be nice. While it's mudding the lore, combining the two would fix the problem with having a teen being the middle of firefights and working a tank.

Let's not forget that she also is a redhead. People had been quick to point out that Malone dyed her hair red. This doesn't automatically make her Robin, Batgirl sported red locks first. Also, if we're going by her hair it's not as traditionally short as Carrie's was in the comics. The shoulder length is more like 60s Batgirl hairstyle (pictured above). Other DC Comics redheads include Aquaman's fellow underwater hero Mera, who I assume will be featured in the 2017 movie. Not to mention the Batman villain Poison Ivy. Basically, we need more than a change in hair color to work with.

I would like to point-out that a piece of concept art by artist Jock was floating around the time of the announcement for Batman v Superman. He confirmed it was for a project for Warner Bros. People assumed it was for a video game/comic book series, I think even Jock pointed fans in that direction. Yet, Jock has done a bunch of design work for movies, including the early costume designs for Dredd. The image clearly includes Superman, Batman (very similar to Miller cowl they gave Batfleck), Wonder Woman and also Batgirl. Having Zack Snyder sneak-in a second female hero wouldn't be entirely out of the realm of possibilities. We never thought Cyborg and Aquaman would ever be in this film, so anything could happen.


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