Warner Bros. and DC still has a couple of open slots on its impending release slate heading out of this decade. It has now been confirmed that Nightwing is one of those movies. And the live-action adventure will be directed by none other than Chris McKay, the filmmaker behind this month's hugely successful animated comedy The Lego Batman Movie.
Nightwing will revolve around the DC character of Dick Grayson, also known as Robin, and perhaps the best known member of the Batman family outside of Bruce Wayne. The movie will tie directly into The Batman, which was confirmed earlier today to still be moving forward with Cloverfield and Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves at the helm.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris McKay is currently in negotiations for the standalone DC movie, with The Accountant screenwriter Bill Dubuque tackling the script. In DC lore, Dick Grayson is the original Robin. He was the youngest member of the acrobat family known as the Flying Graysons. Bob Kane and Bill Finger, along with illustrator Jerry Robinson, collaborated on creating the character, who made his debut in Detective Comics #38 way back April 1940.
After Dick's parents were murdered, he is taken in as the legal ward of Bruce Wayne. He soon becomes Robin, teaming-up with The Dark Knight to clean up Gotham and restore justice to the troubled city. In the 1980s, Grayson traded his Robin persona in for that of Nightwing, and became the leader of the Teen Titans. In his wake, a number of young men, and even some women, stepped in to take over as Robin.
The character of Dick Grayson does appear in this month's LEGO Batman Movie, voiced by Michael Cera. It's highly doubtful that Cera will reprise the role. But one never knows what kind of curve ball the DCEU might throw nowadays. Robin has yet to appear in any of the current DC live-action movies, though his costume was seen in Batman V Superman, covered in graffiti left there by the Joker, who reportedly killed off the ward. It has never been clarified though which version of Robin the Joker killed in the events leading up to Dawn of Justice.
Where exactly this Nightwing story falls in terms of the other movies coming down the pipeline hasn't been announced, nor have any story elements in general. Nightwing is the latest attempt by Warner Bros. to expand the DCEU outside of its core group of iconic superheroes. The first outing that steps outside this frame will be David Ayer's Gotham City Sirens, which features Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn as the central character, also bringing in Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey.
Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot is the next DCEU outing, and will be in theaters June 2. The star-studded ensemble Justice League is next, hitting theaters on Nov. 17. And Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa, will arrive next year on Oct. 5, 2018. Also on the horizon and expected in theaters before 2020 are Suicide Squad 2, which could have Mel Gibson at the helm, The Batman, which Matt Reeves is confirmed to direct, Shazam, a Black Adam standalone movie starring Dwayne The Rock Johnson, The Flash and Cyborg. That's a lot for Warner Bros. to tackle in the next three years, and we're expecting that some of the dates will shift beyond 2020. Also planned are Green Lantern Corps. and Justice League 2.
The Lego Batman Movie marked McKay's directorial debut. It has earned $182.4 million so far. The director previously worked as an animation co-director on the original Lego Movie, and directed three seasons of Robot Chicken.