|Directed by||John Fiorella|
|Written by||John Fiorella|
|Produced by||John Fiorella|
|Distributed by||Untamed Cinema|
Grayson is a 2004 fan film made by John Fiorella featuring DC Comics character Dick Grayson along with several other DC Universe characters. Since it is a fan film, it was not allowed to be sold at a profit and was thus distributed for free on the Internet.
The film is a mock trailer for a Grayson feature film; however, no such film exists. Currently, there are also no plans for a full-length feature film, because the filmmakers have no possibility to produce such a film without the support of Warner Bros.
While no cohesive plot is apparent from the vignette style of the trailer, it can be pieced together that Batman has been murdered, and his killer remains at large. Dick Grayson is long since retired from his superhero days and raising a family with his wife Barbara Gordon. After his former mentor's death, however, he decides to resume his crime-fighting days as Robin. Remarkably, Grayson does not take up the Nightwing identity. The filmmakers said they chose this because many people outside the comic book community are unfamiliar with Nightwing and they wanted to appeal to a wider audience.
Commissioner Gordon is aware of Grayson's secret identity and assists him by supplying official documents. In addition, Gordon provides the voiceover narration at the beginning of the trailer. The head of the investigation into Batman's death is indicated to be Chief O'Hara, a character from the 1960s Batman TV series, who apparently also knows Grayson's identity (noting that Grayson's "crimefighting days are over") His role is suspicious since he strongly wants Grayson to not become involved, even to the point of aligning with Selina Kyle/Catwoman to eliminate Robin and shouting at reporter Clark Kent that he wants "him [presumably Grayson] out of the equation!" O'Hara is also seen rolling up his sleeves, preparing to assault an angry captive Gordon.
It is implied that Batman may not actually be dead, and Fiorella's commentary on the "Behind the Scenes" video confirms that this ambiguity was his goal: "I wanted to make people wonder if in fact Batman had really been killed."
The project began when Fiorella was searching, along with his director of photography Gabriel Sabloff, for a suitable subject for a demo reel that would showcase their filmmaking abilities. When Fiorella raised the idea of a film about Robin, Sabloff was skeptical at first, but soon convinced. The objective of Fiorella was to "tell a new and exciting story about the former boy wonder that leaves audiences wanting more" and let the viewer be the judge to decide if he hit the mark.
With a budget of $18,000, the filmmakers created a five-and-a-half minute trailer complete with motorcycle chases, underwater escapes, pyrotechnics and feats of strength. Most of the production budget went to 16mm film stock, production equipment, processing and transfers, leaving little for anything else. According to the behind the scenes video of Grayson, their budget didn't allow for daily film transfers, so the filmmakers only saw developed footage in batches every three months. The two employed guerrilla filmmaking tactics, filming mainly on weekends and at whatever locations they could find, often without permission.
The screenplay for the non-existent motion picture is available for viewing at the Untamed Cinema website, and features most of the events shown in the trailer, although with some differences, as well as a full explanation of all questions raised by the trailer.
A behind the scenes documentary of Grayson is also available for download. Grayson: Pieces of the Puzzle is a 30-minute featurette with commentary by John Fiorella.
After the publicity generated by the film's online release at TheForce.net, the film was to be screened at the 2004 San Diego Comic-Con, but all superhero fanfilm screenings were cancelled that year, as DC Comics requested that the convention honor their intellectual property rights and halt all showings of fanfilms based on their characters.