The DCEU is about to get a lot more badass, promises Nightwing director Chris McKay (The LEGO Batman Movie). The DCEU has the upcoming Justice League featuring a lot of the heavy hitters as well as Suicide Squad 2 covering the bases for the villainous side of things, but Warner Bros. is looking to shift some limelight to lesser-known characters including Shazam! and now Nightwing. Adding another Batman character into the mix is definitely a good idea, especially since the Nightwing character hasn't already been done to death and rebooted a bunch of times. While the movie is still a long ways away (casting hasn't even been done yet), McKay recently talked about his excitement for telling the "underdog" story.
Chris McKay recently sat down with Collider to discuss his "badass action" take on Nightwing and the Dick Grayson story. One of the reasons that McKay gravitated towards the project is that everybody knows the character, but he has rarely been seen on the big screen. McKay explains.
"I'm a big comic book fan, and being able to do the story of Nightwing, to do a Dick Grayson story, which is a character that every single person in the world knows, but has never really had a lot of screen time. They make a billion Spider-Man movies and a lot of Batman movies, and they've tried The Hulk. When they were making the Tim Burton movies, they were always like, 'Oh, maybe we'll do Robin in this now. Maybe we'll save Robin for Returns. Nope, we'll save it for the next one.' With Christopher Nolan, people were like, 'Is he gonna do Robin?' When they made Batman v Superman, they were talking about it."
McKay went on to talk about Grayson's classic underdog status and the way that the character grew up in the comic books from a boy to a man, and finally into something different entirely. McKay had this to say.
"You always thought Robin was the dork and were like, 'I don't want to be like Robin. I don't want to play with Robin. I wanna play Batman.' But Robin was there as a window character for little kids like me to understand Batman's world and see into Batman's world. There's no other character in comics that went through this real-time transition. Every other character lives in a rough version of the age that they're in. Very few characters actually grow up in the comics and become something else, and go from being a boy to being an adult, and have their own life and become their own thing."
But the most exciting part of the conversation came when McKay started to describe his vison for the Nightwing movie. Even though the movie is still a ways off from happening, the director promises an action movie with minimal CGI and plenty of real-life action. Most of all, McKay promised that the movie is going to be a lot of fun. McKay had this to say.
"It's gonna be a f%[email protected] 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 f%[email protected] 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 stunt work, 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 f%[email protected] 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!"
Chris McKay's enthusiasm is infectious and now we all can't wait for the movie to jump into gear and begin production, but unfortunately, this is a DCEU project that we're talking about here. The DCEU seems to be fracturing and announcing enough movies to be produced for the next 30 years, so who knows how long it will be until we see the Nightwing movie in theaters, if at all. The only way that the movie may get put on the fast track is if Warner Bros. decides to take the character and place him outside of the DCEU like the upcoming standalone Joker origin movie, but it's really anyone's guess at this time.
As far as the DCEU is concerned, Aquaman just wrapped production and Shazam! is next on the slate with production expected to start in early 2018. Next up, the sequel for Wonder Woman as well as Suicide Squad 2 are expected to get put into production with Wonder Woman more than likely taking precedent. Matt Reeves' The Batman could also be a launching pad for Nightwing within the DCEU, if they decide to go that route, but even so, that movie is still in the writing stages. Hopefully some news about the production of Nightwing is announced soon.