With the first ever Nightwing movie in development, there's a ton of great stories for director Chris McKay to adapt. The character has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, and many of his adventures have become just as compelling as those of his former mentor. In fact, Nightwing comic writer Tim Seeley recently opened up, and admitted he thinks the Nightwing movie should echo his own recent arc with the character. The story shows Dick Grayson's struggle to balance his loyalty to Batman with a deadly new mentor named Raptor, and how that conflict affects The Bat Family. Seeley explained:
I would do a very similar thing to what we did in the first six issues of Nightwing --- the Raptor story. If the story is going to have to be about a guy who was trained by Batman going off to fight on his own, then having him fight a guy who wants to be his new mentor and changes, I think that's the perfect story for it. I think the first act is, he's dealing with a villain --- it could be the Court of Owls or something but it could be anything else. The threat is a threat that affects Batman and the family, because you want to have some relationship with that, then he gets corrupted, and has to fight Raptor. I think that's your three-act movie.
If you have kept up with DC's Rebirth line in recent months, then Tim Seeley's comments to Comicbook.com should sound familiar. For those of you less acquainted with Dick's comic book adventures, this arc began with the Better Than Batman story, which saw Nightwing attempting to infiltrate the Court of Owls (a new, yet popular Batman foe) in a bid to save Robin. Eventually, Dick finds himself forced to work with a deadly mercenary named Raptor, who takes it upon himself to become Dick's mentor and teach him techniques and tactics that Batman would never use. The situation forces Dick to walk a tightrope between these two men, ultimately leading him to pick a side by the conclusion of the story.
The use of a villain like Raptor would make particular sense because he has a very notable connection to Dick Grayson's past as a member of Haly's Circus, which (per director Chris McKay's recent comments to CinemaBlend at The LEGO Ninjago Movie junket) will receive a nod in the film. That said, if Raptor cannot be used, Seeley also pointed out that someone like Deathstroke (possibly still played by Joe Manganiello?) could make a suitable alternative because he is also a dark reflection of Dick's original mentor.
Of course, this is one of many reasons to start getting excited about the Nightwing movie. Chris McKay's enthusiasm for the project has become infectious since its announcement, and The LEGO Batman Movie director has promised an incredibly exciting direction. Not only will this film offer a deep dive into the Nightwing/Robin corner of The Bat Family, but the emphasis on practical action set pieces has become a focal point of its development. With a story that showcases a deep connection to the Batman lore, as well as the promise of an Oscar for stuntwork (the first of its kind), Nightwing could legitimately make history in the realm of comic book movies.
CinemaBlend will keep you posted with more information related to the Nightwing movie as new details become available to us. It's expected to begin shooting sometime in 2018, but an actual release date has yet to be announced. Looking ahead to the next year, take a look at our 2017 movie premiere guide and our 2018 movie premiere guide to see what else Hollywood has in store!