A Cinematic History of Robin

Michael Cera is the new Robin. See how he measures up to his predecessors.  

In the upcoming Batman-centric sequel to The Lego Movie, Michael Cera will play Robin, or give him a voice anyway, which feels right given that his uncle from Arrested Development, Will Arnett, will be reprising his role as the Plastic Caped Crusader. Seth-Grahame-Smith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, is penning the script because of course he is.

But where will Cera stand in the Robin ratings? If history has taught us anything, it’s that sidekicks are expendable, which means that Cera could wind up getting melted down.

Johnny Duncan and Douglas Croft

In black and white, Robin began his reign over the screen as the world’s most famous sidekick. The original show, which debuted in the ‘40s, was hokey in the extreme, but these guys knew how to move the plot forward.

Burt Ward

In 1966, Batman and Robin had a bam, pow repartee. It’s no wonder that SNL would later mock this show with The Ambiguously Gay Duo. Jokes aside, the dynamic works. This is likely the sort of zaniness the Lego film will embrace.

Loren Lester

Robin got a cartoon makeover in 1992. The result was fine for kids who liked Batman, but Robin never felt like a major player. Animation makes it easier to go big on the baddies, which doesn’t bode well for Cera.

Chris O’Donnell

Clooney’s ill-fated 1997 outing as Batman is notoriously awful and Chris O’Donnell did not wear his cape particularly well. There was nothing either man could do about the screenplay, which highlighted the strangeness of the man-boy relationship.

Joseph Gordon Levitt

He never donned a cape in The Dark Knight, but the reveal of JGL’s identity had the Internet abuzz that Nolan was positioning himself to do a gritty Robin movie. Hasn’t happened yet, but this is still arguably the most successful Robin on the big screen, largely because he’s not so much a sidekick as a grown-ass man/human being.

Michael Cera

Cera always gives off the sweet weird dude vibes, which may indicate a tendency to ride already out-there material off the rails. Hopefully that’s what he’ll do as a minifig. God knows Arnett is going to stop him.

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