All the drama surrounding who is directing the solo Batman and if Ben Affleck will even stick around for the long term created a lot of questions for the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Now it looks like the DCEU fortunes are being turned around today after it was announced that Matt Reeves would direct the solo Batman movie. As big as that news was it wasn’t the biggest news to come out of the DCEU spectrum. The big news that just dropped is that there is currently a Nightwing movie in the works. This latest news is exactly what the DCEU needs as Nightwing can be the key to turning things around.
Last week I wrote about how important it is for WB and DC Comics to start to turn the new around the solo Batman movie as he is there most important DCEU character (read here). I still standby what I said in that article because of how much of a franchise mover Batman is to the DC Comics brand as a whole. So the news today that Matt Reeves is now officially directing the solo Batman movie is great news that’s a sigh of relief for the DCEU.
Moving away from that positive news, what I believe will actually help right the ship for the entire DCEU is the newly in pre-production Nightwing movie. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, WB is now planning to release a Nightwing movie further stating that “Chris McKay, who most recently directed The Lego Batman Movie for Warner Bros., is in negotiations to helm the new live-action film, and Bill Dubuque (The Accountant) is writing the script.”
This is all fantastic news for multiple reasons. The biggest reason to be excited for WB putting in the effort to make a Nightwing movie is that this represents the first wave of WB and DC actually exploring the legacy of the DC Universe. This is something that has never been something we have seen successfully done on the big screen. The one time that WB and DC attempted this it was met with extreme failure with the Batman & Robin that failed to get over Robin and Batgirl.
Now all the legacy characters like Nightwing, Batgirl, Donna Troy, Kid Flash, etc. can see a new life on the big screen. And with Nightwing being the leader of the next generation of heroes in the DC Universe he can play the same role in the DCEU. Because not only can Nightwing be someone that helps expand whatever plans WB and DC have for the Batman movies but also usher in the introduction of many young heroes in a possible Teen Titans movie.
This introduction of legacy characters opens up the opportunity for the DCEU to do something the Marvel Cinematic hasn’t done yet. That is showing that characters like Batman and Superman represent something more than the symbols on their chest. That idea can be very powerful and help move the DCEU away from the controversial dark direction it has been on since beginning with Man of Steel. It would also offer up the type of stories that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would not explore for quite a while, if ever.
The other big thing that this news represents is a possible way for WB and DC to plug the hole Ben Affleck creates whenever he leaves the Bruce Wayne role. Since it is looking more likely that Affleck won’t be Batman for a long time, introducing Dick Grayson through a solo Nightwing film allows for the possibility for Bruce Wayne and his protégé to take over as Batman. If Bruce does indeed die Dick can quickly fill the role of Batman and even continue to build on the whole legacy these characters represent. A Dick Grayson Batman would probably fit much better with the versions Joker and other villains introduced in Suicide Squad, who don’t quite match the tone of Affleck’s portrayal of Batman.
Dick Grayson as Batman would also possibly be the best way to introduce Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce and Talia Al Ghul, as Robin. They can even follow on Grant Morrison’s work on Son of Batman and Batman & Robin comics by having Dick try to train Bruce’s son to goes away from the dark side Talia and Ra’s trained him to be on. The story can even be that Damian shows up trying to take over his dad’s role after his death and combating Dick for who the rightful heir to the Batman mantle while acting as his Robin to spite him. This all would be a good way to explore the legacy that this version of Bruce leaves behind, since the DCEU Bruce Wayne has been active for a long time before Superman ever appeared.
Now a Nightwing movie is probably a good ways out. Given that WB and DC are still negotiating with Chris McKay to direct the movie could mean things can quickly change. But with how much care McKay showed for the Batman Universe in “The Lego Batman Movie” he would be a very good choice as director. Adding Bill Dubuque as the writer for the film helps its credibility as “The Accountant” did a good job creating a Jason Bourne-esque bad ass character in Ben Affleck’s Chris Wolff. Though Affleck’s Chris Wolff character didn’t show a sense of humor, something Dick Grayson is known for, that is something that McKay can help infuse the film with once he comes onboard and helps with the script.
Overall, today’s news for both the solo Batman and Nightwing movies are great news for fans of DCEU. All of this is a positive sign that could help change the direction the movies have been going on and usher in an element that is unique with the DC Universe and Marvel have never been able to match in the comic books.