When Warner Bros. announced Matt Reeves would direct The Batman movie, the studio also causally mentioned it was working on a live action Nightwing movie.
Sounds great, right?
First appearing in a 1963 issue of Superman, most fans know Nightwing as the “grown up” version of Dick Grayson, who shed his mantle as Robin when Teen Titans Volume 2 launched in 1984. As I’ve mentioned many times before, the 1996 Nightwing series by Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel is a must read as the series (which ended in 2009) features Dick moving to Bludhaven and becoming that city’s protector. Nightwing has a long history in comics, and is connected with many great DC stories and events, so Nightwing has a lot of potential as a big screen property.
As of this post, Warner Bros. has tapped Bill Dubuque (The Accountant) to write the live-action Nightwing adaptation. The Accountant, while interesting in parts, is a fairly by the number Jason Borne-esque flick, and has a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, if you are into those kinds of stats.
While nothing is set in stone, Variety also reports that The LEGO Batman Movie director, Chris McKay, is in negotiations to helm the Nightwing movie.
With Warner Bros. expanding its superhero movie universe to include lesser known heroes, having Nightwing get his own movie is a really big deal. This does beg the question though, “Can you have a Nightwing movie without having Robin appear in the Batman movies?”
Sure, one can point to Batman and Robin and say, “See! See! Robin’s been in movies before!” but please don’t be that guy. Batman and Robin is the worst Batman movie ever. Worst. Batman. Movie. Ever. Plus, movies prior to The Man of Steel seem to have been written out of continuity as they don’t fit into the greater DC Extended Universe.
We did see a Robin costume in the Batcave in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so while we may not have seen Batman and Robin on the screen together, the desecrated costume does create an opening for Warner Bros. to say, “See! See! Robin’s been in movies before!” and get away with it.
With The Batman movie in total chaos at the moment with no release date in sight, and the studio still working on Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg stand along movies, we are at least two years away from a Nightwing release date. If I were a betting man, I’d be surprised if we see Nightwing in theaters before 2020.