For every great movie that we get to see on the big screen, there's another one, or more than one, that never makes it. We've heard countless stories of films that sounded amazing, at least on paper, that never happened. Stuck in the middle of those two extremes are the movies that haven't happened yet, but maybe still could, and that's where director Chris McKay's Nightwing movie lives. At this point it's unclear if the movie will ever actually happen, and even if it does, it sounds like a lot of decisions still need to be made about the film, like whether or not we'd even see Batman.
Recently Chris McKay spoke with The Bear Cave where he talked a lot about the Nightwing movie, which according to the director is not currently in active development, but has not also been officially canceled. As such, there are a few items that never been completely ironed out with the film. Among them, whether or not Batman would appear in the movie, or which Batman it would be. According to McKay...
There was still some stuff that was needed to be determined of what that was going to look like. … It was like you were picking up a Nightwing comic. You’re not guaranteed Batman was going to show up, but he could show up and other people could show up, but again you’re dealing with Nightwing and that’s what I like about it. I like the idea of, we don’t necessarily connect to certain things, we can just have it be a story that takes place in Blüdhaven or with Dick Grayson and his world. How he became Nightwing and why he became Nightwing there was a lot of stuff I liked about the approach.
So there was no guarantee that Batman would appear in the Nightwing movie. Clearly, from what Chris McKay says here, the focus of the movie truly would have been on Nightwing, and thus there's no specific reason that the hero's old mentor would need to appear. The movie would likely be set in Blüdhaven, not Gotham City, so Batman would probably be busy keeping his own house in order.
At the same time, while Batman might not have been a physical presence in the movie, he would have likely been a thematic one. The movie was going to be about how Dick Greyson dealt with growing up and trying to go his way and dealing with the scars, physical and emotional, that come with being raised by Batman. McKay goes on...
It was going to be a real, it was going to be a character study about this guy who grew up with sort of a bad dad. How that made him as a young adult try to fight off and go as far away from that world as humanly possible and get dragged back into it.
While Chris McKay largely speaks of Nightwing in the past tense, he's also clear that nobody at Warner Bros. has ever told him the movie won't happen. It still could happen. There's a lot about the DC characters on the big screen that seems up in the air, and perhaps once all that gets settled we'll figure out whether a Nightwing movie will actually happen.