A Nightwing film has been in development since February 2017 with Chris McKay and Bill Dubuque signed on as the director and screenwriter. The last time that any significant progress was mentioned was in February 2018, when McKay was expecting a script draft for Nightwing "very soon."
Warner Bros. has recently been cleaning house with the cancellation of Ava Duvernay’s New Gods and James Wan’s The Trench causing some fans to wonder what other films were on the chopping block. However, McKay went on the record to say that "As far as I'm concerned, [Nightwing is] not lost yet."
In a new interview, fans learn more about his original plans for Nightwing and whether Ben Affleck's Batman was ever involved.
BATMAN ONLY CAST A SHADOW IN NIGHTWING FILM
In an interview with The Bear Cave, director Chris McKay spoke about his canceled Nightwing movie and how it would have been "a character study about this guy who grew up with sort of a bad dad."
McKay was specifically asked if his film would have included Ben Affleck's Batman or if Nightwing would have been a stand-alone film. The director's response was evasive, saying that, "There was still some stuff that was needed to be determined of what that was going to look like."
However, McKay did affirm that his Nightwing film wouldn't have had Batman looming over the story and that it was “a Nightwing movie it was like you were picking up a Nightwing comic." In reference to the comics, McKay said that it was never "guaranteed" that Batman would appear and that it would remain focused on Dick Grayson, which would be the same for his film:
"You’re not guaranteed Batman was going to show up, but he could show up and other people could show up, but again you’re dealing with Nightwing and that’s what I like about it."
McKay insisted that “I like the idea of we don’t necessarily connect to certain things" like Batman and that "we can just have it be a story that takes place in Blüdhaven or with Dick Grayson and his world. How he became Nightwing and why he became Nightwing there was a lot of stuff I liked about the approach.”
NIGHTWING STOOD ALONE
It's cool to hear that Batman wouldn't have had much of a presence in Nightwing and that Dick Grayson and the story would have stood on his own. It's interesting how McKay's description of Grayson's relationship with Batman sounds a lot like the one they have in the series Titans.
As it stands, Nightwing hasn't been canceled by the studio, but McKay remains optimistic that he will tell his Dick Grayson story in due time. However, it will be curious whether Michael Keaton will be referenced as Batman in the film if it ever begins development again. It seems more apparent that he will be replacing Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne in the current DC Universe.