The Lego Batman Movie, directed by Chris McKay, was a stunning success for DC Entertainment both critically and at the box-office. While celebrating, McKay told the press — and assumedly DC as well — that he would be thrilled to direct a live-action DCEU film too. The DCEU, of course, is fraught with staff turnover in the wake of Geoff Johns and his team minimizing Zack Snyder’s role in the franchise.
DC has entrusted some of its properties to directors like Patty Jenkins, David Ayer, James Wan, and Ben Affleck’s newly announced replacement, Matt Reeves, and Chris McKay makes an exciting addition to that team. Considering Lego Batman’s affectionate focus on the Batfamily, it feels just right to see McKay tackle Batman’s second-in-command. What’s more, Nightwing will probably appear in the DCEU around the same time Gotham City Sirens introduces the Birds of Prey. The leader of that team, of course, is Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl, who also happens to be Nightwing’s romantic interest.
Nightwing is the superhero title Dick Grayson gives himself after he ages out of his sidekick position as Robin. He moves out from under Batman’s shadow, continues his romance with Batgirl, and eventually leads the Teen Titans, though DC has not commented on whether those heroes will appear in Nightwing too.
So why is Nightwing such a perfect fit for the DCEU? He’s an invigorating presence for legions of DC fans who enjoyed post-Batman comics set in Gotham, but he’s not so over-exposed that critics will ask, “Seriously? We have to watch Martha Wayne’s pearls fall in slow motion again?” McKay’s obvious affection and respect for the source text, which was fully on display in the easter-egg-packed Lego Batman means his take on Nightwing will probably be a fun-loving and lively one. Even more than a new superhero, that optimism is what the DCEU so sorely needs.
There is no set date for Nightwing.