If 2016 was held up as a defining year for the DC Extended Universe, then 2017 will be remembered as the year in which Warner’s superhero universe ballooned in size.
Putting the back-to-back launches of Wonder Woman and the impending Justice League to one side, the Powers That Be have drafted up plans for a host of big-name DC projects ranging from Nightwing to a Joss Whedon-directed Batgirl. The latter has naturally been placed on the back-burner after Whedon agreed to see Justice League over the finish line, and even earned a screenwriting credit while doing so.
When it comes to Nightwing, though, the long-requested Dick Grayson spinoff is finally on the cards, and while chatting to Collider, Chris McKay spilled on his vision for a badass action movie with “a lot of heart and emotion.”
I’m a big comic book fan, and being able to do the story of Nightwing, to do a Dick Grayson story, which is a character that every single person in the world knows, but has never really had a lot of screentime. They make a billion Spider-Man movies and a lot of Batman movies, and they’ve tried The Hulk. When they were making the Tim Burton movies, they were always like, ‘Oh, maybe we’ll do Robin in this now. Maybe we’ll save Robin for Returns. Nope, we’ll save it for the next one.’ With Christopher Nolan, people were like, ‘Is he gonna do Robin?’ When they made Batman v Superman, they were talking about it. I’m a big fan of underdog stories, and he is one of the biggest underdog stories in comics. And he’s a character that I grew up with. I like the arc.
When quizzed about the Nightwing arc, McKay refrained from mentioning any specifics, but did confirm that his nascent spinoff will stay true to the zero-to-hero story that made Dick Grayson a bona fide fan-favorite, particularly under the looming shadow of Gotham’s Caped Crusader.
It’s gonna be a fucking badass action movie with a lot of heart and emotion. It’s gonna be a crazy, fun ride. Whoever gets cast as Nightwing, and any of the other actors around, are gonna go through a fucking boot camp experience because it’s gonna be a lot. I’m not gonna do a lot of CG. It’s gonna be all real shit. It’s gonna be real stuntwork, and they’re gonna need to do all of the stuff on camera and do it credibly. For the cast and the crew, it’s gonna be a visceral experience, and for the audience. It’s not gonna be like a lot of these movies where there’s a lot of CG and flying, and things like that. Everything he does is gonna have to be real. His superpower is being really fucking good, as a human being, at fighting and gymnastics and shit like that, so you’re gonna see that on screen. It’s gonna be fun!
Shortly after McKay signed on, rumors began to swirl that Nightwing had been placed on the fast-track over at Warner Bros., with a potential 2018 release on the cards. Alas, that’s not the case, as WB appears to be doubling down on David Sandberg’s Shazam! ahead of its alleged launch in April of 2019.
That means that, at least for now, Nightwing is still searching for a concrete release date. And after learning McKay has envisioned a “f**king badass action movie” that places a heavy emphasis on practical effects, that day can’t come soon enough.