12:45pm PT by Rebecca Ford
Warner Bros. Plotting Live-Action 'Nightwing' Movie With 'Lego Batman Movie' Director (Exclusive)
Warner Bros. is plotting a new DC superhero film based on the Batman-centric character Nightwing.
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.
Nightwing, aka Dick Grayson, is perhaps best known for being the original Robin. Grayson was the youngest member of a family of acrobats known as the Flying Graysons. He was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger and illustrator Jerry Robinson, and first introduced in Detective Comics No. 38 in April 1940. After his parents were murdered, he was taken in as the legal ward of Bruce Wayne/Batman. He then became Robin and teamed up with the Dark Knight on many an adventure to fight crime in the city of Gotham.
Grayson famously shed his persona in the 1980s as the character aged up, and became the leader of the Teen Titans. (In the DC Universe, a succession of young men took on the mantle of Robin while Nightwing became a popular character in his own right, headlining his own comics and appearing in animated movies.)
McKay has already directed a film with Dick Grayson in it: The character appeared in Lego Batman, as Robin, and was voiced by Michael Cera. Nightwing will be his live-action feature film debut.
The character of Robin has yet to officially appear in the new Warner Bros. movies, although his graffiti-covered suit was shown in Batman v. Superman, and director Zack Snyder has said that at that point in time Robin had been killed by the Joker (there have been multiple Robins over the years in the comics, and Snyder did not say which one was killed by the Joker in his film, although it is likely Jason Todd if the film is aligning with the comics).
The Nightwing project joins Warner Bros.' growing DC Extended Universe as the studio focuses on mining some of DC's most beloved characters for new films (as an example, Gotham City Sirens, with David Ayer attached to direct, will focus on the female villains of the universe, including Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn). The next films to hit theaters include Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot (June 2), the star-studded Justice League (Nov. 17) and Aquaman starring Jason Momoa (Oct. 5, 2018). A sequel to Suicide Squad, The Batman starring Ben Affleck, a Shazam film, a Flash film and a Cyborg project are also in the works.
McKay made his feature-film helming debut with hit animated superhero comedy The Lego Batman Movie, which has earned $182.4 million to date after hitting theaters on Feb. 21. He previously worked on The Lego Movie as an animation co-director, and has also directed three seasons of series Robot Chicken. McKay is repped by UTA, Rise Management and Morris Yorn.
Along with The Accountant (which starred current Batman Ben Affleck), Dubuque previously wrote The Judge and A Family Man. He is repped by CAA, Zero Gravity Management and Bloom Hergott.