LEGO Batman came out earlier this year and, to the surprise of no one, did incredibly well at the box office. What was a total surprise to everyone was that it might just be one of the absolute best Batman movies ever made. Soon after the critical success, positive fan feedback and giant box office numbers came out, Warner Bros. greenlit a Nightwing movie for their DCEU to be directed by the LEGO Batman director, Chris McKay.
This is good news — nay, GREAT news — because it’s clear that he understands Batman, not just as a writer, director and student of the character and his mythos, but he gets it on a fan level. Today brings even more good news on that same level.
Collider, at the premiere of the LEGO Ninjago movie caught up with McKay to ask him about the Nightwing film, which is still in development. McKay did not disappoint, going off in an excited, expletive filled exhortation of the film and how his current plan is to bring 100% real stunts to the film, staying away from CGI and green screens as much as possible.
There’s no casting for the role as of yet, not even a hint of a rumor for a direction they are looking, but it sounds as if whoever gets this part is in for a very tough road. As he told the site —
“It’s gonna be a fucking 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 fucking 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 stuntwork, 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 fucking 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!”
Obviously, this is great news for any of us Batman fans — and, c’mon, the entire world is a Bat fan. Nightwing is the original Robin, Dick Grayson, who eventually grew up to see that Batman’s methods, though effective, were maybe a bit too brutal and coming from a darker place, a grimmer motivation. Bruce Wayne, as Batman, fights for vengeance against the types that killed his parents whereas, Dick Grayson, as Nightwing, fights because it’s the only way to protect those who can’t protect themselves. It’s just a switch in perspective, but it’s an important one in terms of capturing tone.
In other words, Dick Grayson fights because it’s the right thing to do — and because he’s an acrobat who was trained by Batman since childhood and it’s sort of fun. Nightwing finds joy in running across the rooftops at night with his Bat-Family, swinging between buildings, fighting the bad guys and keeping people safe and it sounds like it’s this joy and activity that McKay was to exaggerate and get right by grounding it in as real a way as possible.
We were already on board, but it’s safe to say with this level of enthusiasm and dedication to getting the action right, well, we’re even more on board now.
He has two cats and knows all things about Doctor Strange but little else.