Rumor Patrol: ‘Batman vs. Superman’ Nightwing Contenders Include Penn Badgley & Ezra Miller

Published 1 year ago by , Updated November 11th, 2013 at 6:08 am,

Dick Grayson Nightwing Batman vs. Superman movie Rumor Patrol: Batman vs. Superman Nightwing Contenders Include Penn Badgley & Ezra Miller

It’s been an eventful week in the way of blockbuster casting news, and as it happens, the fun’s not quite over. After learning that Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel Batman Vs. Superman might include former Batman sidekick Dick Grayson (formerly known as Robin, who went on to fight crime on his own as Nightwing), an apparent frontrunner for the role emerged in the form of Girls star Adam Driver.

While we here at Screen Rant have our own ideas about who could play Nightwing, two more actors have reportedly joined Driver on the studio’s shortlist. According to  an as-yet unconfirmed source at Superhero Movie News, the current list has a total of six actors, with two more names revealed as serious contenders: Penn Badgley and Ezra Miller.

Penn Bagley is best known for his former role on Gossip Girl, but he ventured into more serious terrain as a young stockbroker in Margin Call and as late singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley in Greetings from Tim Buckley. Ezra Miller’s first major role was as the recurring boyfriend of David Duchovy’s daughter on Showtime’s Californication, went on to co-star in The Perks of Being A Wallflower and mined his considerable dark side as a disturbed youth in We Need To Talk About Kevin.

Since this news comes from an unnamed source with no official confirmation available, take it with some salt, as always. The addition of Bagley and Miller to the shortlist points toward a variety of different kind of actors Warner Bros. is looking at for the role, which leads us to wonder: What kind of Nightwing will we see in Batman vs. Superman? While Adam Driver is easily a physical match for returning Superman Henry Cavill and new Batman Ben Affleck, both Badgley and Miller stand under six feet and are noticeably slighter. That said, they do all share a similarly hipster look and tend to gravitate toward indie roles.

Ezra Miller Penn Badgley Nightwing Rumor Patrol: Batman vs. Superman Nightwing Contenders Include Penn Badgley & Ezra Miller

If the rumors are true, we know that this Nightwing will be estranged from Batman, with the two evidently not on speaking terms after some kind of falling out which has yet to be revealed. That’s all we have in the way of potential plot points, but many details about the character remain unknown: Did this version of Dick Grayson start his vigilante career as Batman’s sidekick and, if so, was he Robin?

In the comic books, Grayson once patrolled the streets of Blüdhaven (before it was laid to waste in Infinite Crisis), which neighbors Gotham City – will the film retain this aspect of the character, giving him a physical remove from Batman? Or will there even be enough time for details like that?

While the physical differences between Badgley, Miller and Driver may be rendered moot by Hollywood magic and the actors’ approach to the role, the age differences of the names involved is intriguing: at 21, Ezra Miller is significantly younger than the 27-year-old Bagley and the 29-year-old Driver. This is pure speculation, but could Miller actually be sought for a current, younger Robin? A 21-year-old seems a bit young to be a distant and jaded superhero… but that might be exactly the point.

Since there are three other names on this reported shortlist, stay tuned for more news on a potential Nightwing.


Batman vs. Superman will be released on July 17th, 2015.

Source: Superhero Movie News

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. I’m thinking Nightwing investigates and comes face to face with Batman in a scene that hints at their former relationship as partners in crime (fighting) and nothing more, establishing the character and allowing him to grow in future movies and show why he’s cynical.

    • I can see that. I’m just hoping Batman and Superman are the ones to do most of the fighting instead of Nightwing helping Batman fight Superman. I want to see Batman take on Superman on his own, just because it’s iconic.

      • I think that’s what’s gonna happen, Batman and Superman throwing down with Nightwing purely there in a one scene cameo to accidentally meet Bruce then decide to let his former mentor take the alien case instead while he goes back to Bludhaven.

        • I thought it might be even simpler: Batman calls on Nightwing to dig up some intel for him in Gotham City while he’s in Metropolis; or he simply puts him in charge while he’s away. A devoted, weary Batman surely wouldn’t leave the city without a protector while he’s away. As you said, though, one or two scenes tops.

          • If this Nightwing is rumoured to be slightly hostile towards Batman though, I doubt he’d trust him with Gotham or ask for his help, which is why I suggested my own opinion on what may happen.

            It’d be more like the two coming face to face accidentally and Nightwing saying “Oh….it’s you”.

  2. That’s where Badgley is from! Easy A, he looked familiar. These two picks are fine with me, they’re both solid actors. I’m really hoping Ezra Miller doesn’t end up playing a younger Robin, I really don’t want Robin in this universe. Seeing someone in red and yellow tights fighting alongside Batman gives me shivers. Though I have faith in Goyer and Snyder doing what they deem right for the next Batman. They retooled both Superman and Batman so far, so I’m guessing they know what to touch and what not to touch when bringing a character like Dick Grayson into the fray.

    • I can honestly see Damian Wayne in a very Robin-esque outfit in a future movie and Dick in this one asking if Bruce has convinced another child to take up his cause, either that or “You found another kid to screw up yet?”.

      Could lead to the League Of Assassins taking Damian and Dick having to help Bruce and softening his cynicism somewhat.

      Like I said before, this older version of Batman opens up so many movie plots that you don’t know where to begin.

      • Another problem I have with Robin is the kid factor. I mean, in a grounded world like Man of Steel, having Bruce bring around a kid fighting villains like Black Mask and Joker will just make me shake my head. Though if Robin is 20 something years old, maybe though if I had a choice, Robin wouldn’t be in the film altogether.

        Damien Wayne making a surprise appearance later on in Bruce’s life is intriguing. Maybe Thalia has his kid without his knowing.

        • You could have Damian trained secretly by the League and Bruce is horrified about that, having lost Jason and seen Dick push him away and leave on a bad note.

          Tim Drake could be Red Robin but Batman is more or less on his own again and prefers it that way.

  3. I think penn badgley would be the better out of the 2 but I still want Alex Russell from chronicle

    • Alex Russell is a good choice if you ask me. I really liked him in Chronicle.

  4. I’d also rather see Driver get the part because Miller I see as someone like Jason Todd or someone that’s not quite hero, not quite villain.

  5. I think it could be cool to have Bagley or Driver as Nightwing (the former Robin) stationed in Blüdhaven, and someone a little younger (like Miller) as the current Robin who hangs back and watches Gotham while Batman is gone looking into Superman.

    And their suits (including Batman) should be modeled similarly to three ones from the Arkham games.

  6. penn badgley, nightwing
    ezra miller, tim drake
    jensen ackles as jason todd
    isla fisher as batgirl
    hugh laurie or jeremy irons as alfred
    And theres the whole family(that i bother to cast)

    • Jeremy Irons is too badass to play Alfred.

      I could see him as a reworked version of Hugo Strange though. Maybe Ra’s al Ghul.

      • oooooo.

    • or tom selleck for alfred and laurie as an older riddler.

  7. The kid in the t-shirt: definitely not. Nightwing looks like he could fight baddies, not like some little goofy kid on the playground. The guy in the tie? Well, not quite right, but definitely closer than the other.

  8. I called Badgley in advance, just check in the post about Driver!

    IMO, the best choice out there look-wise, age-wise and height-wise. Sure he’s 5’9″ but Dick Grayson is listed as 5’10″ so that works. On top of all that, he is a very good actor.

    Miller is also a great choice, but might be too young at only 21.

    Driver doesn’t have the right face for the role.

    • Couldnt have said it better myself.

  9. I’ll tell you what I would like to see. Nightwing just finishes taking out some thugs on a roof top and all of the sudden Batman Shows up. Bruce tells him I need your help. Dick tells him he wants nothing to do with him and to leave him alone, Bruce mentally manipulates him into leaving if he can beat him one on one, Dick is in his prime, Bruce is old and Dick takes the bate. Batman wins in a sweet choreographed match and Nightwing listens to the plan and buys in. Probably not going to happen but would love to see something like that on the big screen!

  10. It be cool if batman by his first all out encounter with supes leaves him wasted and nightwing has to recover him

  11. I still don’t think Nightwing is necessary in this movie. They could put him in there I guess, but I really hope his possible inclusion doesn’t take away from the plot of Batman and Superman. I think they should hold off on throwing any more characters in this movie and just focus on nailing the beef between Batman and Superman. But if Nightwing is included, I hope its done well.

  12. I actually had Miller in mind as he is a great young actor, only thing is that I hope he puts on bout fifteen pounds of muscle.

  13. i would only want to see flashbacks of a young Robin and then showing a more jaded Nightwing

  14. I think miller is definently the best actor of the group.

  15. Out of the 3 I think Penn looks the part

  16. I don’t know these guys, so I can’t comment on their acting ability, but basically it seems like we’re looking for the actor that looks like the biggest d0uche for this role. The news just keeps getting better. I’m really not excited for this movie any more. I will go see it, but I was really excited until this stuff. Hopefully it’s just a small cameo.

  17. Matt Bomer as Nightwing.

  18. So its official, MoS 2 is a mini Justice League film

  19. How about this for A falling out between Batman and Nightwing
    BM: You still seeing that girl
    NW: She has A Name
    BM: Alright are you still seeing Korry
    NW: Yes
    BM: You know there’s something strange about her
    NW: She’s from another Planet get used to it
    I know it won’t happen but it would be fun and might explain why Batman doesn’t trust Aliens.

    • Um. Except Korry would’ve helped figthing kryptonians when they showed up. Atleast WonderWoman and Aquaman has an excuse for not knowing what happened outside.

  20. I don’t think they’re going for someone who can match Supes and Bats physically. He needs to look the part of a young sidekick. Dick Grayson’s a hothead, is he not?

    • Jason Todd was the hothead.

      • Fe

  21. I saw Ezra on perks of wallflower…
    He did a good job being gay and I wonder if he´s actually gay, cause if he is then how could he…? for nightwing role?

    • Not that anyone should care but I’m pretty sure he’s straight.

      Charlie Hunnam is heterosexual too but got his big break playing a gay man in a show about gay men and their love lives with some pretty explicit scenes.

      It’s called acting.

    • He has said himself that he is in fact queer, but that wouldn’t be a problem, he is an actor after all.

      Matt Bomer, Wentworth Miller and Neil Patrick Harris are all examples of gay actors who has no issues playing straight.

      My concern with Miller however, is his age.

  22. Ian Somerhalder.

  23. If adam driver gets cast as nightwing, i’m gonn astart losing hope in this movie, the guy might be tall, but he is one doofy looking b*stard. he will look dumb in a mask 1oo% and take away any credibility the movie has. Penn Badgely would increase my hope they could pull it off, he is a perfect fit for nightwing. I personally hated Man of Steel, nothing against the actors or snyder, they all did a good job with what they had, but if they want this series to do well they need to either bring in additional writers to assist or get rid of david goyer altogether. all of his best work has been done as a co-writer (the dark knight trilogy, blade 2 ) and all his other solo writing films have been pretty much failures. he needs someone else like nolan to help his storytelling. after a poor showing with MoS ( i know many on screenrant are DC fanboys, but the movie was a dissapointment for a lot of people) DC needs to knock bats Vs supes out of the park or they are screwed.

    • Thank you! I knew I wasn’t alone. I left the theater asking myself wtf?!!?!?!

      • Me and a few other friends feel this way about that movie, and plenty of people in general who saw the movie felt that way too otherwise it wouldnt have such a poor RT rating. so yea, you are not alone dude.

  24. Nightwing will only be introduced as a character, and used to show Batman’s trust issues and other stuff relating to Batman. Also, having introduced Nightwing it would be easier to make audiences accept a Robin in a standalone Batman movie. That’s at least what I think.

  25. Ten bucks says if they do end up using Nightwing they cast a black actor.

    Fun fact, originally Robin was going to be in Batman Returns and he was going to be played by Marlon Wayans.

    • Why would they do that when they could just introduce Batwing instead?

  26. i dont think this is a MOS 2 movie anymore… this is going to be a JL or a introduction to it…

  27. @Ferchocol

    Absolutely spot on.

    It seems the more time passes , the less we are actually talking of Superman at all.

    It seemsDC / Warner are

    a) not satsisfied enough wih MOS’ box office take to go with a standalone sequel.

    b)Are desperate to hold onto Batman, their crown jewel of big franchises. Not willing to do a separate reboot due to the considerable shadow cast by The Dark Knight Trilogy. So they chose to do Batman / Superman film as it’s a safer bet for a new Batman so close after Bale’s version.

    c) Not bold enough to go with a full out Justice League movie, or spend time expanding on other characters within the DC catalogue, especially after Green Lantern’s failure. So they are testing the waters first.

    I look forward to perhaps 2017 to see the real Superman sequel focusing on the actual character himself.

    • Or…

      d) Acting according to a plan, fully developing Superman (the pillar the entire DCU rests upon), using (and introducing) Batman through a Worlds Finest movie, a move many hoped for (at least before it was actually announced…).
      This could be terrible, and it could be awesome, I don’t know. But I believe this was planned.

  28. granted, these are all rumors, but am i the only who thinks that all these “rumored” guys look way to soft to play nightwing? they might all be good actors, but I don’t want a prettyboy, who is only cast to appease a certain audience group (women), to be nightwing…

    • Well, with that same logic, let’s cast someone ugly as Wonder Woman and see how that goes for the men.

    • But nightwing is a prettyboy
      and has always been bait for women

    • You do realize that Adam Driver is an ex-marine, and 6′ 2″ right? He’s only a bit smaller than Ben Affleck who will be the biggest Batman we’ve ever gotten. If only he wasn’t so ugly. The other guys definitely do look like pretty boys though.

  29. First a Wonder Woman possibility, now Nightwing? Sounds like Batman vs Superman is quickly becoming the Justice League movie.