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The CW Exploits More Comic Characters’ Origins with ‘The Graysons’

The CW takes on Little Robin with The Graysons

Just as Smallville focused on the younger years of Clark Kent, as well as his life before becoming Superman, it appears that The CW’s next series The Graysons will do the same for Batman’s sidekick Robin. The series, which is being prepped for The CW by Smallville exec producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson, as well as Supernatural exec producer McG and his Wonderland Sound and Vision label, will follow the world of Dick “DJ” Grayson before he takes on the iconic Robin identity and aligns himself with Batman.

According to Variety’s report, The Graysons is seen as a potential replacement for Smallville, should that show run to its end this season. Of course, should Smallville get picked up for another season, the producers feel that The Graysons could serve as a solid companion piece.

It appears as well, that Souders and Peterson have come up with an original take on the character. In the one-hour Graysons, which will be set in modern times, young DJ will face challenges involving first loves, young rivals and his family as he grows up.

In the original Batman mythology, Grayson was a young acrobat and part of the family act called “The Flying Graysons.” He was orphaned when a gangster sabotaged his parents’ trapeze equipment. Bruce Wayne took him under his wing and trained him to help fight crime.

Of course, there may be some of you out there who balk at this based on McG’s name being attached. But let me remind you up front that McG’s name has also been attached to the likes of NBC’s Chuck as well as The O.C. As a producer in the world of TV, he’s delivered the goods. As well, I know that there are a lot of fans of Smallville, so the involvement of showrunners Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson should be seen as a good sign.

That said, I think this is a horrible idea. If there is any one character in the DC Comics Universe who is least interesting, it is The Boy Wonder. As well, the complete change in origin story, from “The Flying Graysons” to this more ordinary young man could rub fans the wrong way. Add to that the potentially hammed up “first loves, young rivals” story elements, and we might be seeing the worst parts of Smallville shining through. I have a little faith, as The CW has churned out some good dramas, including Gossip Girl, but there is nothing to indicate that The Graysons will be anywhere near as edgy.

What do you think about The Graysons? Potential winner or potential failure?

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet.

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