Earlier this week, pretty much everybody’s jaw hit the floor when it was revealed that Warner Bros. were finally willing to go ahead with a Nightwing movie, something that many Batfans would say is long overdue. Personally, this was on a very short list of superhero films I wanted to see made within my lifetime and I truly hope it comes to fruition.
Since the announcement, fan speculation has run rampant as to who will have the honor of playing a Dick Grayson who operates on his own. Various pieces of artwork have surfaced throughout the week, too, depicting Jared Padalecki and Zac Efron as the cult favorite vigilante, as both actors no doubt have a legion of devoted followers rallying for them to be cast.
And although casting is one of the most important aspects of the long process director Chris McKay has ahead of him, it’s quite important that he get the character and tone of the film right. After all, this endeavor is a vastly different beast from The LEGO Batman Movie and it’s crucial that all who are involved comprehend that. Despite Nightwing’s penchant for cracking jokes in the field, we mustn’t forget that he still inhabits the same dark world as Batman. In other words, he’s the light in the darkness.
In his recent appearance on the Shanilan on Batman podcast, McKay alleviated some of my own personal fears with a statement that shows he does, in fact, have a firm grasp on the character:
“Bruce Wayne in my mind came from privilege and I think that’s why he’s more dour and angry. He’s self-made as far as his becoming all of these cool things we like him for… Dick Grayson didn’t come from that. Dick Grayson came from a circus family. Essentially people who aren’t rich and they are self-made. They’re entertainers. They’re gymnasts. They’re people who live hand-to-mouth and that’s something that informs him and his attitude… he’s a fascinating guy to me, because he had all the same things happen to him.
He’s got some of the same negatives as Bruce Wayne and then from a society standpoint — obviously he was adopted into Bruce Wayne’s life… but he didn’t start that way. He’s this guy who has all these negatives and then even more negatives and yet he remains… Those are things why I like Dick Grayson, why I like the idea of Nightwing as a movie.”
Admit it, that instilled a bit of confidence in you, didn’t it? And who knows, if McKay manages to pull off a Nightwing movie in a satisfying manner, we could be looking at a new franchise. Think about it: You could utilize villains like the Riddler, Deathstroke and others here, effectively giving it the same mainstream appeal of the Batman films while still being its own thing. Suffice it to say, we’re definitely excited to see how this one continues to develop.