Nightwing director Chris McKay promises that his DC Extended Universe film will be an action-packed movie full of practical effects and real stuntwork. The solo character film is one of the several upcoming productions set to be released as part of Warner Bros' DCEU slate and will center on the eponymous superhero of the same name. As is the case with many comic book superheroes, the Nightwing persona has been inhabited by a number of different characters over the years. McKay's film, however, will specifically focus on the Dick Grayson version after he has moved on from his previous role: serving as Batman's vigilante partner, Robin.
Right now, official details regarding what Nightwing will be about are few to be found. Aside from McKay, only The Accountant screenwriter Bill Dubuque is currently attached to the project. A casting announcement for the title character has not yet been made either, nor is there a tentative release date in place. McKay has explained that the reason for this is that he would rather be able to work on Nightwing and fine-tune it ahead of filming, rather than being pressured to rush and having to meet a pre-set deadline That said, McKay already has an idea as to how he will approach the project, from a directorial perspective.
McKay chatted with Collider at the press day event for The LEGO Ninjago Movie (which he produced) and spoke enthusiastically about his DCEU gig, as well as his plans to introduce Grayson into the shared cinematic universe. The filmmaker once again teased the kind of action sequences that he has planned for the Nightwing movie - the kind that will demand serious physical training for whoever nabs the lead role:
“It’s gonna be a fucking badass action movie with a lot of heart and emotion. It’s gonna be a crazy, fun ride. Whoever gets cast as Nightwing, and any of the other actors around, are gonna go through a fucking boot camp experience because it’s gonna be a lot. I’m not gonna do a lot of CG. It’s gonna be all real shit. It’s gonna be real stuntwork, and they’re gonna need to do all of the stuff on camera and do it credibly. For the cast and the crew, it’s gonna be a visceral experience, and for the audience. It’s not gonna be like a lot of these movies where there’s a lot of CG and flying, and things like that. Everything he does is gonna have to be real. His superpower is being really fucking good, as a human being, at fighting and gymnastics and shit like that, so you’re gonna see that on screen. It’s gonna be fun!”
At this point, Nightwing is still in the very early stages of the development process, but it is great to know that McKay has a pretty clear and focused vision of what he wants the movie to be. Admittedly, many were initially skeptical when the filmmaker was first announced to helm a live-action superhero flick, given that he mainly specializes in animation (see his work on Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum). It was ultimately his work in The LEGO Batman Movie (where an animated Dick Grayson/Robin is voiced by Michael Cera) that helped to convince the naysayers to give him a shot at making a DCEU movie.
Judging by the current in-development DCEU slate, Warner Bros. will be announcing several new DCEU release dates for the next couple of years. James Wan's Aquaman is nearly done filming and is slated for a 2018 release date - making it the only film in the franchise currently scheduled to roll out next year. After that, Shazam!, which is already in pre-production, will follow in 2019, along with Wonder Woman 2. Cyborg and Green Lantern Corps are both set for 2020, while projects like Suicide Squad 2, Justice League Dark, Flashpoint and Batgirl may all follow thereafter. As such, fans may yet have a long while to wait, before McKay's Nightwing film finally hits theaters.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019