Director Chris McKay Discusses Nightwing Solo Movie

Late last week Warner Bros./DC announced that they will be moving forward with a Nightwing solo movie.  Director Chris McKay discusses what drew him to the character.

In an interview with Shanlian on Batman podcast team (via Polygon), director Chris McKay (LEGO Batman Movie) shared that the reason he was interested in doing a Nightwing movie was due tot he fact that the character shared many of the same experiences as Bruce Wayne/Batman (and even trained under him as the first Robin) and yet has a different outlook on life.

McKay said unlike Batman, Nightwing didn’t come from privilege and as a result, he’s not the same “dour and angry” hero as DC’s most iconic character. Instead, McKay continued, Nightwing came from a family of circus performers and as such, will maintain that type of exuberance while donning his superhero costume.

“He’s a fascinating guy to me, because he had all the same things happen to him,” McKay said. “He’s got some of the same negatives as Bruce Wayne and then from a society standpoint – obviously he was adopted into Bruce Wayne’s life … but he didn’t start that way. He’s this guy who has all these negatives and then even more negatives and yet he remains … Those are things why I like Dick Grayson, why I like the idea of Nightwing as a movie.”

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I’m a fan of Nightwing and I’m glad he’ll finally be appearing on the big screen.  However, it’s curious that he’ll make his appearance in a solo film before being introduced as Robin or even in a Batman film.  There’s certainly storytelling potential with the Dick Grayson/Nightwing mythos (witnessing the murder of his family, adopted and trained by Bruce Wayne, vigilante protector of Gotham’s neighboring city Blüdhaven, and leader of the Teen Titans), but this is the type of project associated with a lesser known character that typically gets green-lit following a string of successes.  DC isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders right now after mixed critical reception of both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman and one would expect that WB/DC would want to make sure their higher profile films like Justice League, Wonder Woman, The Flash, The Batman, etc. perform well before tackling a character not as publicly well known (sure everyone knows Robin, but the Nightwing persona is not as popular).

I hate sounding all doom and gloom on a project about a character I love.  I may be more of a Marvel fanboy, but I adore DC and want to see both comic titans succeed.  I just haven’t been as impressed by what DC has put out thus far and feel like they’re trying to play catch-up with Marvel by volume instead of focusing on the quality of their movies.  That said, I’m in their corner and hope this movie will be awesome.

What do you think about a solo Nightwing movie?  Do you think Chris McKay will do the character justice and do you like his vision for the movie so far?  What is your ideal casting choice to play Dick Grayson?  Share your thoughts in the discussion board below.

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