In Batman v Superman, one of the many teases to the larger DC Universe is Bruce Wayne’s Batcave memorial to Robin. Logic, and those ominous laughs painted on the chest, suggest the Joker killed him. Now we have confirmation, as well as a few more details.
The film’s director, Zack Snyder, spoke to IGN about the brief moment in the film and said the following:
In my mind it was that Robin had died about 10 years earlier in some run in with a young Joker. So that was an interesting thing to me. Sorta a fun backstory to play with.
I’m not sure I’d describe murdering a beloved character off-screen as “fun”, but I get what Snyder’s saying. It’s definitely an attention-grabbing, mysterious addition to the film and the universe as a whole, one that fans have been talking about since it was first revealed in the trailer. And now we know it happened about 10 years into Bruce Wayne’s time as Batman, and that’s when the Joker came to prominence too. Lots to unpack there.
Snyder’s quote also clears up any and all rumours that the Joker and Robin are the same person. Many fans had speculated that Jason Todd’s Robin betrayed Batman and became the Joker, but it seems that’s not the case.
So do we think we’ll ever get to see a younger Batman, with Robin in tow, battling the Joker and losing his friend? That could potentially be be a gut-wrenching, emotional story to experience along with the characters. Maybe that’s the Batman script Ben Affleck is working on. Or maybe it will be a flashback. Only time will tell.