Look who turned down the role of Robin in 1989's Batman movie

Contributed by
Dec 17, 2012, 3:16 PM EST

Batman was in development for nearly a decade before Tim Burton finally made it work, so it's no surprise there were multiple incarnations of the story before the creative team settled on one. It's also no surprise that at least one of those incarnations featured Batman's sidekick Robin—but it might be surprising who producers wanted to don the tights as the Boy Wonder.

It's unclear now just how many versions of the story that would become Batman actually included a Robin, but producers were at least serious enough about including him to begin offering the role to young actors. We know that because Touch star Kiefer Sutherland just admitted they wanted him.

"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 said in an interviewing promoting his new Fox series. "I was like: 'As in Robin with tights? No!' I didn't realize 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."

Think about Kiefer Sutherland in Lost Boys for a minute. Picture his platinum-blond mullet, thin beard and arrogant smirk. Think about him in Stand By Me. Almost the same thing but less pale and less mullet-y, right? Now try to put all that into Dick Grayson's Robin costume. Doesn't quite work out. Sure, Sutherland was a hot young actor at the time, and producers were probably thinking he'd have no problem changing his appearance as needed to play the role, but you have to wonder who made that imaginative leap in the first place.

Weird choice or no, it was not to be. Burton went on to direct two Robin-less Batman flicks before Joel Schumacher (who directed Sutherland in Lost Boys) finally included the character in his often-mocked additions to the franchise, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. As for Sutherland, he went on to become everyone's favorite no-nonsense counterterrorist agent.

Even if producers had kept Robin in Batman, can you see Sutherland in that role? Can you see any other young '80s star fitting the bill better?

(via On the Box)