Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie is regarded as one of the best iterations of the Dark Knight on screen, but we very nearly got a young Robin to go alongside our hero. The superhero movie role was even offered to Kiefer Sutherland at the time, but the actor turned down the opportunity.
The ‘80s movie stars Michael Keaton as the titular vigilante, with Jack Nicholson playing Batman villain the Joker. As one of the earliest entries into the wider DCEU, the action movie serves as something of an origin story for the Caped Crusader, setting up the world of Gotham and offering a new and improved take on the iconic hero. The only thing missing was Bruce Wayne’s trusty sidekick, and it turns out Tim Burton did want to introduce the character.
In a chat with On The Box from 2012, Sutherland revealed he was offered the role of the Boy Wonder, but he passed on the opportunity as he didn’t realise how cool the project would be. Sutherland, who starred in the TV series 24, seemingly regrets that decision now.
“I’d just finished Stand By Me and Young Guns about the time that Warner Bros were making the first Batman film with Michael Keaton and I got a call which asked me if I would be interested in playing Robin,” Sutherland explained.
“I was like, ‘As in Robin with tights? No!’ I didn’t realise they were going to make the coolest movie ever! They didn’t have a Robin in the end, but I was only 19 so my agent could have helped me out a bit on that one,” Sutherland added.
It’s a shame really, it would have been pretty fascinating to see a young Robin added to Tim Burton’s dark and twisted take on Gotham. As it stands, the last Robin we got was in the much-maligned ‘90s movies from Joel Schumacher.