Some big things are brewing behind the scenes at DC, with a Nightwing movie in development from director Chris McKay. We haven't heard much about the film recently, but some fans recently got very excited about the prospect of Deadpool 2 and Iron Fist actor Lewis Tan potentially stepping up to the plate as the blue and black-clad hero. With that in mind, I'm here today to declare that Tan is 100% the perfect choice to take on the role because of his proven stunt prowess and his sheer fit for the nature of the character.
Right off the bat, it needs to be said that a movie focusing on Nightwing needs to have insane action. Dick Grayson isn't just as a badass fighter in the vein of Batman or the other Robins; he's an Olympic-level athlete who can pull off some of the most complicated acrobatic maneuvers in the DC lore, thanks to his time as a circus acrobat. If nothing else, the DCEU needs a Dick Grayson who can convincingly pull off those moves without over-reliance on a stuntman. It's not just about throwing punches; it's about knowing everything from parkour to genuine martial arts.
If you know anything about Lewis Tan, then you likely already know that he fits that description to a T. He's not just a skilled athlete or a talented martial artist; he embodies the nimble and acrobatic fighting style that Dick Grayson needs to have in his first-ever solo movie. If you need further evidence of that fact, then look no further than the video, below:
All of this feels bolstered by the aforementioned fact that Lewis Tan has met with DC and discussed the possibility of him taking on the role at some point. In fact, while speaking with That Hashtag Show at the Saturn Awards, Tan addressed his recent meeting with DC and said:
I know Chris McKay wants a martial artist, right, so that's out there. He's following me on Twitter, you know... there's a lot of good juju vibes out there for that. Nothing that I can say that is confirmed. This is a project that he's still developing, and I sat down with DC, with some of the executives at DC, and they're big fans, I'm a big fan, obviously. My father came to America, because of Batman (Tan's father worked on Tim Burton's 1989 film) and, you know, I definitely want to see that come full circle and give back. I'm not trading in my Marvel roots, because they started me, but DC started my dad, so it would be nice to go over there and play around and find the right thing. So, we're looking for the right thing and there were a lot of different talks and Nightwing was one of those that were mentioned, so we'll see.
There's always something beautiful about casting actors who have connections to specific universes, and that's something that Tan shares with the Batman lore. His father worked on Tim Burton's Batman back in the 1980s, and casting him could convey a genuine sense that things have come "full circle." He doesn't just look like Dick Grayson with his black hair and athletic physique; he has a personal connection to the Gotham City world that feels rooted in his DNA.
Moreover, Lewis Tan is already no stranger to the world of comic book properties. As stated earlier, the actor has appeared in the Iron Fist TV series, as well as Deadpool 2, in supporting roles. He has flirted with stardom in this genre for quite a while (he was actually considered for the role of Danny Rand in Iron Fist before Marvel opted for Finn Jones), and the decision to let him finally take center stage as Nightwing in the character's first-ever solo movie would represent a nice maturation to starring roles after a career of supporting performances.
Lastly (but not insignificantly), it should also be said that the decision to cast an Asian actor as Dick Grayson could stand out as a smart play by the folks at Warner Bros. The DCEU has made some intelligent casting decisions that go against the grain of traditional comic book depictions (such as Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry), and Nightwing (a character raised as a gypsy in a diverse travelling circus) would be a natural character to alter, as well. Not only would this embrace the DCEU's apparent affinity for left-of-center casting, but it would also set him apart from Chris O'Donnell's version of Dick in the Schumacher Batman films, as well as Brenton Thwaites' upcoming portrayal of the young badass in the Titans series on DC Universe.
No matter what happens, it's hard not to have faith in Chris McKay and his ability to bring a proper Nightwing movie together -- particularly after the success of The LEGO Batman Movie. With all of that said, the addition of Lewis Tan as our latest live-action Dick Grayson feels like the best possible way to carve out a new identity for this character and create something unique.