What The DCEU’s Nightwing Needs To Have, According To The Director

Animated Nightwing running

With Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman providing the DC Extended Universe with its first critical darling, it's a great time to be DC fan. The newly formed shared universe has been announcing new projects like its their job (it is), including a bunch of spinoffs for various Batman characters. One of these recently announced films is the Nightwing movie, which will follow the life of former Robin and Bludhaven crimefighter Dick Grayson in his vigilante adventures.

The Nightwing movie is currently set to be helmed by The Lego Batman Movie director Chris McKay, and he recently opened up about what he'll need from the film's leading actor. When asked by a fan on Twitter if his leading actor share McKay's passion for the character, he said:

Chris McKay is looking for quite alot of out of his silver screen Dick Grayson, so I wouldn't be surprised if the casting process was a lengthy one. But considering that the Nightwing movie isn't set to hit theaters for a few years, I'm sure this won't be much of a problem for the DCEU.

With a Batgirl and Nightwing movie both coming down the DCEU pipeline, I have to wonder how much set up the untitled Batman solo movie will have to do. Plot regarding Matt Reeves' upcoming blockbuster is still being very closely guarded, but if the Bat family is going to become a major aspect of the shared universe, then there will presumably have to be some exposition in the new script to set these projects up. Batman's history was only briefly addressed in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, when the costume of a dead Robin was seen in the Batcave. So there's still plenty of ground to cover in Batman's long history.

For those who are less familiar with DC comics, Nightwing's real name is Dick Grayson, and he was the very first Robin. Adopted by Bruce Wayne as his ward and trained in martial arts, the gymnast turned vigilante was the very first member of the Bat family (besides Alfred). But Dick would eventually age and mature in his abilities, and adopt his own superhero name and city to protect.

It should be interesting to see how Chris McKay handled Dick Grayson's backstory in the Nightwing movie, because the character has a layered history. They'd presumably have to cover their basis with the Grayson's death, his adoption by Bruce, tutelage as Robin, and eventual maturity. But this type of exposition is a double edged sword, as the hardcore fandom has already seen countless versions of this origin story. Perhaps McKay will instead chose to go the Spider-Man: Homecoming route, skipping over the stale background of the character to get right into the action. It's one of the reasons why the film got so much positive critical attention, so anything is possible for Nightwing.

The next installment in the DCEU will be Justice League on November 17, 2017. In the meantime, check out our 2017 release list and plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.