Warner Bros. and DC Films had an infuriating habit a few years ago of announcing new comic book adaptations, often with big name talent already attached, only to do absolutely nothing with them. One of the more high-profile casualties of the studio’s indecision was Nightwing, which was announced as the live-action directorial debut of The LEGO Batman Movie‘s Chris McKay, with a script from Ozark creator Bill Dubuque.
That reveal came well over three years ago, before any and all talk surrounding the project completely vanished. However, McKay has been making the promotional rounds for the upcoming Amazon sci-fi blockbuster The Tomorrow War, which ended up serving as his first live-action feature instead, and he’s been dropping some Nightwing details.
In a new interview, the filmmaker insisted that his planned grounded-and-gritty story revolving around Dick Grayson’s fan favorite alter ego hasn’t been canceled by Warner Bros. as of yet, but he did admit there are plenty of reasons why it hasn’t managed to escape from development hell.
“The reason why I’m hesitating because right now, today, no one has told me we’re not making that movie. It’s just right now, they have other priorities. That’s the point of view Warner Bros are coming from and obviously a lot of things, a lot of their plans have had to change and change again. They’ve gone through a lot of stuff, and when I was brought in to Nightwing, they were in the process of doing Matt Reeves’ The Batman, so he was starting his thing there.
So to me, I still hold out a lot of hope I’m still going to make that movie. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but certainly, no one has said ‘Hey kid, you’re not making that movie’. In fact, if anything they’ve said, ‘Today we’re not prioritizing that movie’, but they still want to make a Nightwing movie something I think is still important to them.”
On top of that, McKay also teased the aesthetic he’s aiming for should Nightwing eventually come to fruition and also hinted that the shadow of Batman will factor into the proceedings, which in itself could create a logistical headache when Robert Pattinson, Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton are all still technically in the mix.
“There was still some stuff that was needed to be determined of what that was going to look like. It was like you were picking up a Nightwing comic. You’re not guaranteed Batman was going to show up, but he could show up and other people could show up, but again you’re dealing with Nightwing and that’s what I like about it. I like the idea of we don’t necessarily connect to certain things, we can just have it be a story that takes place in Blüdhaven or with Dick Grayson and his world. How he became Nightwing and why be became Nightwing, there was a lot of stuff I liked about the approach.”
The Tomorrow War is a solid calling card to prove McKay’s credentials when it comes to helming big budget effects-driven adventures, but he’s also been attached to WB’s live-action Johnny Quest for almost as long as Nightwing, so hopefully it’s one of those two up next for the animation veteran if the boardroom can finally push one of them forward.