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If you're anything like me, then yesterday's announcement still has you giddy with excitement. DC and Warner Bros. officially announced a Nightwing movie with The LEGO Batman Movie's Chris McKay at the helm, and it will be the culmination of years of anticipation. Few characters have developed fan bases as rabid as Batman fans over the years, but Nightwing is definitely among those ranks.
DC has certainly experienced its fair share of missteps over the course of the last few films, but the announcement of a Nightwing movie seems like a genuine attempt to correct course. There are a lot of great reasons why this project will be exactly what the DCEU needs to get back on track, and we have taken it upon ourselves to compile a list of some of the most compelling reasons. On that note, let's kick this list off with the fact that introducing Nightwing will almost certainly add some much-needed levity and charm to the DCEU.
Nightwing Is A More Lighthearted Hero
Right off the bat (sorry, I had to say it), it's worth mentioning the fact that Dick Grayson is an inherently more lighthearted character than The Dark Knight. Nightwing lost his parents at an older age than Bruce Wayne did, and those wounds healed differently as he has aged. Unlike his mentor, Dick isn't afraid of letting people in, and he's a far more social animal, which ultimately leads to plenty of wise-cracking in the face of danger. The DCEU has remained a relatively dark environment over the course of the last three movies, and a Nightwing movie could easily introduce quite a bit of humor and optimism to this landscape. If you need jokes, then Dick Grayson is your man.
It Expands The Bat Family
The presence of Jason Todd's Robin suit in The Batcave in Dawn of Justice got this ball rolling, but introducing Nightwing into the DC Extended Universe would do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to establishing The Bat Family in live-action. For those of you unaware, The Bat Family is the tight-knit group of heroes such as Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl Red Robin, Bat-Wing, sometimes Red Hood and a wide variety of others who aid Batman in his battle against evil. The closest we ever came to a proper Bat-Family in live-action was when Batgirl and an older Robin entered the equation in Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin, so I think it's time for us to try again in the modern age of superheroes.
It Expands The Gotham City Mythos
Bruce Wayne is obviously the face of Gotham City, but other heroes have their connections to the crime-ridden urban landscape as well. While many fans have come to loathe certain aspects of the New 52 run of comics, the Bat Family benefited from certain ideas established early on. One such idea is the Court of Owls and the fact that Dick Grayson was originally destined to become a Talon (a highly trained assassin) among their ranks before Bruce adopted him. The Court of Owls storyline gives Nightwing a connection to Gotham City that's very different from Bruce's, and it's something that a movie centering on this comic book icon could easily expand upon in brilliant ways. Gotham is a big place, and there are plenty more stories to tell.
It Keeps The Action Grounded And Gritty
The current DC slate is a seriously breathtaking landscape, but there's arguably one distinct flaw: there aren't enough grounded, hard-hitting movies on it. Sure, we love superpowers, but the street-level vigilante antics of Nightwing, Batman, Green Arrow and the rest remain some of the coolest and ripest material for adaptation. After all, nothing beats a solid hand-to-hand fight. Nightwing could easily expand on the badass fight sequences that we've seen from Batman in the DCEU, and his particular brand of acrobatics and agility could also make his fight scenes very different (and far more visually appealing) than Bruce's combat scenes. The DCEU has enough gods and aliens; we want to see more heroes who simply know how to handle themselves in a brutal fight.
Nightwing Opens The Door For A Teen Titans Movie
The Justice League isn't the only dominant team of superheroes in the DC universe. The Teen Titans have gradually become one of the most popular ensembles of heroes (well, sidekicks) in all of the comics, and their animated exploits have gone on to become legendary in the annals of superhero history -- particularly the Teen Titans animated series from the 2000s. Introducing Nightwing as a leader of DC's coolest sidekicks (and possibly teaming him up with Ray Fisher's Cyborg) potentially opens the door for a Teen Titans movie, and we could see badass characters like Kid Flash, Beast Boy, Raven and Starfire eventually make their way into the DCEU. In a cinematic universe populated by older heroes, this could allow DC to appeal to a younger crowd.
Introducing Nightwing Makes Batman A Less Vital Character
We've made this argument before here at CinemaBlend, but it's worth repeating. Introducing Nightwing (as well as the rest of the Bat Family) opens up an entirely new world for Batman and makes The Caped Crusader a far less important character. If DC shows enough guts, they could also even consider killing Batman somewhere down the line and handing the cape and cowl off to his first sidekick. No DC film in the history of the franchise has had the guts to kill Bruce Wayne, but lining up a replacement in the form of Dick Grayson could make it a feasible option for the very first time. DC needs something big right now, and this could be the brave and bold move that these movies need.