Following the successful release of Zack Snyder's Justice League on HBO Max, speculation about where Warner Bros. would take DC storytelling from here on reached an all-time high.
In the months following, and with the push for the #RestoreTheSnyderVerse seemingly ignored by the powers that be, it appears the studio is dedicated to a new phase with a blend of both stand-alone and connected films and possible HBO Max spin-offs.
In addition to The Suicide Squad releasing this year, followed by HBO Max's Peacemaker series and The Batman in 2022, creators connected to the studio's prior plans are both nostalgic and even hopeful that old projects may still have a place in the future.
DIRECTOR STILL HOPEFUL FOR BATMAN'S NIGHTWING SPIN-OFF
In an interview on CinemaBlend's ReelBlend podcast to promote The Tomorrow War, director Chris McKay expressed confidence in the previously announced Nightwing movie saying, "As far as I'm concerned, it's not lost yet."
"I hope it's still a reality. I hope that we still get to make that movie. As far as I'm concerned, it's not lost yet."
The DC slate has often been in a state flux with announced projects never making it to screen, just like Ava DuVernay's New Gods and James Wan's Aquaman spin-off The Trench.
Mckay's comments indicate that he's aware of that history while also noting the studio's attempt at a course correction when saying, "...I think that they found their way."
"It is obviously something that… they’ve had other priorities, they’ve had other challenges. They’d had things that they needed to do, and I think that they found their way, with their recent successes, and the stuff that they are planning on doing now. I think it opens the door for us to still be able to do a Nightwing movie."
The problem Warner Bros. faces in moving forward with a Nightwing film is that it was originally intended to be a spin-off of Ben Affleck's Batman film which, in the studio tradition, never materialized.
While Batfleck rumors never really die, Nightwing's initial premise is a bit of a stretch considering Warner Bros. has Matt Reeves' The Batman starring Robert Pattinson releasing in March 2022.
But to McKay, the appeal of Nightwing isn't the Batfleck connection but rather "the kind of action and the kind of heart."
"Whether you call it ‘in an alternate universe’ or you pick in their multiverse universe which universe it’s part of, there are different ways into it. But Nightwing is a big, action-packed, emotional movie. It may not, budgetarily, be similar to what we do with The Tomorrow War. But from a scope and scale standpoint, as far as the kind of action and the kind of heart, that’s what Nightwing is going to be all about."
IS WARNER BROS. GOING TO WING IT?
It's hard to say whether DC fans will see a Nightwing film in the near future. However, the project has a few things in its favor.
In addition to McKay's evident investment and passion for the character, DC's box office bread and butter has always been Batman.
A character connected to the Caped Crusader like Nightwing wouldn't only play into that fan niche, but it would also offer audiences (and the studio) something fresh to work with.
And honestly, new characters and stories may be what Warner Bros. needs to do if it intends to succeed with the DC Universe this time around.