Sidekick, no more. Dick Grayson is getting his own starring slot in the DC Extended Universe. Warner Bros. is developing a Nightwing movie with The LEGO Batman Movie director Chris McKay in talks to direct. Per THR, the live-action spin on the classic Bat-family character is getting a script from The Accountant and The Judge scribe Bill Dubuque, so I assume this movie will be called ‘The Vigilante’ or ‘The Crimefighter’.
If you’re unfamiliar, Dick Grayson is the classic Batman character who took on the mantle as the the original Robin, first introduced in Detective Comics in 1940. After the murder of his family, an acrobatic team called “The Flying Graysons”, Dick was adopted by Bruce Wayne and joined him in his caped crusades as his scantily-clad sidekick. McKay has already given his spin on that version of the character in The LEGO Batman Movie, which prominently featured Robin and had a laugh dissecting the ultra-dysfunctional dynamic between him and his adoptive super-dad. Now, the director will take a go at Greyson’s aged-up persona, Nightwing, which emerged in the 1980s when Grayson took over as leader of Teen Titans.
The project raises some interesting questions regarding the mythology and the chronology of the DCEU. Grayson has yet to appear on-screen in the live-action DCEU, but Batman v. Superman prominently featured a Joker-vandalized Robin suit in the Batcave, and Zack Snyder has said that the Joker killed Robin before the events of that film. Of course, the mantle of Robin has been handed down from hero-to-hero throughout DC Comics timeline, so it could have been one of those other characters wearing the suit at the time of the murder. Perhaps Jason Todd, as many have speculated. Alternately, the Nightwing movie could take place before the events of BvS a la Wonder Woman, but that seems an unnecessary point of confusion. Also, unlike Wonder Woman, if Dick Grayson is already dead by the events of BvS, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for shared-universe crossover.
The news comes on the heels of the announcement that Matt Reeves has officially taken over at the helm of The Batman after Ben Affleck dropped out of directing the project. The studio also has a number of other DCEU projects brewing, including David Ayer‘s Gotham City Sirens, which will see the return of Margot Robbie‘s fan-favorite Harley Quinn, James Wan‘s Aquaman, a Suicide Squad sequel, and projects for The Flash, Cyborg, Shazam, and Dwayne Johson‘s Black Adam.