On Thursday afternoon, I was in class, taking a quantum physics quiz. I had an hour long gap between the end of that quiz and the start of a robotics meeting. I checked my phone once I got out of class and found out we’re getting a Nightwing movie. Needless to say, I freaked out.
I adore Nightwing with all my heart. The first comic I ever read was about him. He was the reason I got into comics at all. It was through him that I discovered the rest of the Batfamily. I’ve been wanting a movie about him for years. And I also love the DC Extended Universe. I used to claim that I’d go see every single Batman movie in theatres until one was done right. And Zack Snyder brought me that Batman in Batman v Superman, a Batman that’s unbelievably accurate to the character I love from the comics. This Bruce is obsessive and driven and paranoid, while still being dedicating to protecting the world and the city he loves. Snyder brought me a Clark Kent that’s more than just unrelenting optimism and cheerfulness and a caricature of a person – he brought me the story of an immigrant that’s never known another home. A person that’s forced to confront a world that he loves that’s afraid of him. A man that’s not an god, nor a devil, just a guy trying to do the right thing. Someone that’s flawed, deeply human, and fundamentally good. Someone that just loves his mom and his girlfriend and believes in using his powers to help people.
And all of that? That’s why the idea of a Nightwing movie terrifies me just as much as it excites me.
I love the DCEU. I love the representation of the iconic characters we’ve gotten so far. I love that we’re getting a Wonder Woman movie in June that looks incredible. I’m super excited to see Justice League. All the announced movies make my inner nerd scream.
I love Dick Grayson. He’s a character that’s been called the heart of the DC Universe. He’s topped lists of comicbook readers’ favourite heroes before – above Batman, above Superman. I’m so excited to see him in the DCEU, finally getting the treatment that he as an iconic character deserves.
But there is so much that could go wrong.
One of the difficulties in making a DC movie is that all of the characters are so iconic. Everyone has a set image of who they are, even if it’s not always accurate to what’s there in the comics. Even if what’s there in the comics has changed a lot over the years and in the hands of different writers. It makes it hard to try something new and unexpected – people are going to object and scream about it not being their version of the character.
Dick is an incredible character. He was the original sidekick, and he became his own hero. Even became Batman. He’s Batman’s most trusted ally. He’s Bruce’s oldest son. He’s the lynchpin of the DC Universe. All the other Robins came about as an attempt to fill the void he left. Bruce has described him as the only thing he’s ever done right. He’s so much more than just Batman’s sidekick, than just lighthearted comic relief. He’s a full fledged character in his own right.
If this movie doesn’t encompass all of that, it’ll break my heart.
I haven’t seen Lego Batman, and the director of that is supposedly going to direct this. I would trust Zack Snyder with it completely, but I’m so nervous at my favourite character being put into the hands of someone who hasn’t done anything else like this before.
But I’m still going to be there opening night. Don’t let us down, Chris McKay!