DC went on a film announcing spree a few years ago, and while some of those films have come to pass, others are in development limbo. Unfortunately, the Nightwing film currently resides in the latter category, but it isn't canceled according to director Chris McKay, and McKay recently revealed a myriad of new details about the film during an interview with The Bear Cave. The LEGO Batman and Tomorrow War director broke down quite a bit on the themes of the movie and the approach to Nightwing, as well as his dynamic with Batman and how they were approaching Batman's involvement, which could have included an appearance from Batman, so let's get to it.
First McKay talked about the state of the script, and he had actually started working on a trailer to sell his vision for the film but never finished it.
"They've (Warner Bros) had been working on a script before I came along," McKay said. "So DC had hired Bill Dubuque to write a version of Nightwing, and I came in while that script was in the process and that draft hadn't quite landed yet, but landed after I got hired. So I took that draft with some thoughts I had as far as theme and the overall genre. There were some things I wanted to combined and built a trailer and never got the chance to finish it."
"It's instructive to some of the things we were going to do with the movie and also what DC has embraced since then is probably the best why I can describe it," McKay said.
Then McKay talked about the themes Nightwing would be dealing with, saying "It becomes a revenge movie and it'd be an introduction to Nightwing and the world of Blüdhaven. There was going to be a lot of villains."
That isn't the only issue Dick Grayson is dealing with, however, as the film would put Grayson's relationship with his mentor, Bruce Wayne, under the microscope as well.
"It was going to be a real, it was going to be a character study about this guy who grew up with sort of a bad dad," McKay said. "How that made him as a young adult try to fight off and go as far away from that world as humanly possible and get dragged back into it."
The film has evolved and changed along the way to fit DC's overall approach, and just like the comics, there was the chance we might've seen Batman make an appearance, and when the movie was put into development, Ben Affleck was the main Batman, though Matt Reeves' had already been brought in for The Batman. That said, they were still ironing all those things out.
"There was still some stuff that was needed to be determined of what that was going to look like," McKay said, adding that Batman did not loom large over the story. elegantly tiptoeing around the question but did say Batman didn't loom large over the story.
"It was like you were picking up a Nightwing comic. You're not guaranteed Batman was going to show up, but he could show up and other people could show up, but again you're dealing with Nightwing and that's what I like about it," McKay said. "I like the idea of we don't necessarily connect to certain things, we can just have it be a story that takes place in Blüdhaven or with Dick Grayson and his world. How he became Nightwing and why be became Nightwing there was a lot of stuff I liked about the approach."
While the movie has been in limbo, it has not been canceled, and McKay still hopes to make the movie a reality. "The reason why I'm hesitating because right now today (Friday 18th June), no one has told me we're not making that movie. It's just right now; they have other priorities," McKay said. "That's the point of view Warner Bros are coming from and obviously a lot of things, a lot of their plans have had to change and change again. They've gone through a lot of stuff, and when I was brought in to Nightwing, they were in the process of doing Matt Reeves' The Batman, so he was starting his thing there.
"So to me, I still hold out a lot of hope I'm still going to make that movie. Maybe that's wishful thinking, but certainly, no one has said 'hey kid, you're not making that movie.' In fact, if anything they've said 'today we're not prioritizing that movie,' but they still want to make a Nightwing movie something I think is still important to them," McKay said.
The delay isn't due to budget either, as McKay said "It wasn't going to be a big-budget movie, it was going to be under $100 million."
The more we learn about the movie the more fans will want to see it actually hit the big screen, so hopefully, McKay gets to make the movie he signed up for somewhere down the line.
What do you think of the Nightwing movie? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things Nightwing and DC with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!