Would A Nightwing Movie Work?

Cover to Nightwing #100 (2004). Art by Scott M...

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Continuing with my Batman themed posts, I’ve decided to explore if a solo Nightwing movie would work; now Nolan‘s Bat trilogy is wrapping up next year. To start with, let me explain that I do not actually think there’s any chance of seeing a Dick Grayson/Nightwing movie anytime soon. DC isn’t going to take a gamble on a lesser-known character after the disastrous result from this year’s Green Lantern. However, if the unexpected were to happen, and the movie was given the green light, how would a Nightwing movie successfully translate to the big screen?

To start with, the movie would need to be treated extremely seriously so that it can be connected to Nolan’s trilogy. Warner Bros aren’t going to start a DC cinematic universe anytime soon, so connecting at least two or their franchises together would be a nice touch. I would set the movie in the fictional city of Blüdhaven. The city can be depicted like a cross between Gotham City and the Narrows area seen in Batman Begins. There would need to be a sense of corruption and evil surrounding the place, perhaps even making it the base of the new organised crime criminals, who were beaten out of Gotham by the Batman. It can’t under any means be as glamorous as Gotham. Blüdhaven should feel like the slums compared to Gotham or Metropolis.

Enter Dick Grayson. Would Grayson necessarily need the Robin gimmick as for Grayson it did come before he took on the persona of Nightwing? The Robin gimmick wouldn’t work unless he was a sidekick to Batman. It definitely needs to be a more adult Nightwing flick. The story could follow a teenaged Dick Grayson, inspired by the stories coming from Gotham about the Batman. The real task lies in creating Dick’s character. As readers of the comics will know, Dick is not necessarily a dark character. He’s actually one of the more light-hearted allies to Bruce Wayne. So Grayson shouldn’t be as dark and broody as Batman, but he shouldn’t be a wise cracking Spidey rip-off either. His origin in the circus should be kept, as it’s the only logical reason to explain his acrobatic fighting style that is essential to the character. Grayson’s origin should be that he was raised in an orphanage, only to run away during his adolescent years searching for the criminals responsible for his family’s death. Would the comic book villain Tony Zucco (who is responsible for the death of the Grayson family) be the main villain? I’d rather use a pre-established criminal such as Sal Maroni (providing he’s not dead already) who was last seen in a car crash in The Dark Knight. That way it ties the films together and adds some much needed depth to the Sal Maroni character.

Grayson is quite a ladies man in the comics, and that’s the hardest thing to translate onto screen without damaging the overall tone of the film. I’m a big fan of the The Huntress character (who had a great scene in Batman: Hush), and although she’s not an original love interest for Dick in the comics, she could be Nightwing’s answer to Hit-Girl. A young woman who uses a variety of gadgets and weapons she steals from criminals. Unlike Catwoman though, Huntress is more reckless and careless. If Batman has Catwoman, Nightwing should have Huntress.

And lastly, who would direct it? At the risk of sounding delusional, I’m going to say Frank Miller. A Nightwing film needs a director who can capture the serious tone of the film. Whilst Gotham’s been getting all of the attention, its sister city Blüdhaven has been ignored and left to ruin. The legend of the Batman needs to be a recurring theme throughout the film as it’s what will drive Grayson throughout his crusade. Miller would capture that perfectly, whilst adding some real importance to Nolan’s films.

It’s a shame Warner Bros own of all DC’s cinematic properties. Under their ownership I really doubt that we’ll ever see a Nightwing movie. Perhaps if DC gave some of their properties to other studios we might eventually one day see Nightwing fighting crime on the streets of Blüdhaven on screen. Do you think Nightwing deserves his own movie? How would you do it? As always leave your comments below.

*Update* (July 23rd 2012)

Spoiler alert: The ending of The Dark Knight Rises hints at the John Blake character (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) taking on either the mantle of the Batman, or his own costumed persona. Blake taking up the mantle would be an interesting way to continue the Nolan Batman franchise without resorting to a total reboot now Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have gone. What do you guys think? Do you want a John Blake Nightwing film, or would you prefer a fresh Nightwing movie, more based on the comics?

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    • AdamDeficit
    • September 16th, 2011

    Given that it should be his own stand alone movie, not a spin-off of a Batman movie saga, I personally (and know I’m probably alone on this) is have flashback scenes. Not like Batman Begins, but more so like Mask of the Phantasm. It would show him where he stands in modern day, but given someone mentions Gotham City, Batman or whatever, past memories come up by in small segments that notify the people not familiar with the character and the series about his back story and why he chose to become Nightwing. Like I stated before, this is my opinion on what could be a good idea, and I personally think it could work.

    • An interesting idea. Though for it to work would it have to be made many, many years after the Nolan trilogy has ended? Otherwise audiences’ non-familiar with the ‘reboot’ concept would surely try and struggle to make connections from this film to Nolan’s films. Though it would be great to have a new Nightwing movie series that’s fresh from continuity.

        • AdamDeficit
        • September 16th, 2011

        True, but even as a DC animated feature, it could work. Hell, I’d even settler for a showcase film as they did with Jonah Hex, Green Arrow and even the upcoming Catwoman. Something to introduce the character as an independent hero that has distanced himself from Batman and his Robin mantle or something. I don’t know if that makes sense, but hey, a guy can dream. Hopefully someday they will take into consideration that Nightwing is a beloved hero in the DC Universe.

      • IGN even said how Nightwing’s death would possibly have more ramifications than if what Batman’s death would. He’s such an important character in the DC universe, it just annoys me that Warner Bros have all the film rights to DC’s heroes. I think our best bet for a Nightwing movie would be if DC gave out the film rights for their characters to different studios similar to Marvel.

    • AdamDeficit
    • September 16th, 2011

    I agree, it would leave much more windows open for different visions or new comers to the silver screen. If they did do a Nightwing film, they should take their time filming and making it right, because if they rushed it could end in a sloppy result like other comic book movies such as Batman & Robin and risk ruining the trust of the fans of the character. I wouldn’t want to see another Chris O’Donnell portrayal of Dick Grayson. My vision of the character would be more of how Terry McGinnis is, but not as humorous, if that makes sense. Just more talkative towards the villains and show how diverse he is from his former mentor. I’d like to see maybe Ryan Kwanten play him. And I agree with the Huntress being a villain to him. But also Deathstroke and Torque (maybe). Once again I could be alone on this one.

    • epman
    • January 17th, 2012

    wow i wish that they made a nightwing movie!but i think that it should be live action and have nolan`s films and warner brothers join forces and have two directors

    • epman
    • January 17th, 2012

    the directors should be frank miller and christopher nolan i`d like to see maybey drake bell play him and frankie jonas as robin in the flash backs

    • epman
    • January 17th, 2012

    please somebody reply to my comments please please please

    • Thanks for commenting! With Drake Bell and Frankie Jonas, WB would run the risk of the film being ridiculed by fans straight from the start. For a Nightwing movie, or series to work it would need to be treated extra seriously, and for that they would need an actor that doesn’t attract preconceptions. The flashback idea sounds awesome though. Would be a good way to show audiences now familiar with the Nightwing character that he was originally Robin.

  1. unfortunate but true. A Nightwing movie wouldn’t fly. Maybe they should stick to direct-to blu-ray videos.

    • hobbitsrock@yahoo.com
    • June 2nd, 2012

    A Nightwing movie would SO work! It would be dark and violent, with a protagonist who is complex but entertaining, sexy but kick-ass. It would be great if they had Grayson narrating at the beginning of the film how he ended up in Bludhaven and about his complicated relationship with Batman and how he sometimes struggles to uphold the moral philosophies that were instilled within him all those years being the Dark Knight’s partner. It should also include the complicated relationship between him and Barbara Gordon who at this point in the storyline would still be paralyzed but acting as her new alter ego, Oracle. That would allow for some funny brief conversations between the two when he calls her for help while on his missions. As for a bad guy, I think the movie should utilize the whole Blockbuster story arc of the Nightwing comics which would climax in that infamous scene where Nightwing allows Tarantula to kill Blockbuster because he has been driven to the point of a nervous breakdown after being tormented by the criminal mastermind for so long. But the success of a Nightwing movie I believe would ultimately come down to the script, which would have to be incredibly smart, dark, and entertaining. It would also be determined by the actor cast to play the lead character. He would have to possess all the emotional complexity and charm of Dick Grayson and also the physical appearance and gracefulness of an acrobatic genius. A Nightwing movie would totally work if it was done right. It CAN happen if the right people get involved.

    • Hi, thanks for your comment. I haven’t been using this blog as much lately so my apologies that I haven’t been able to reply sooner. First off, I completely agree with everything you said. Word it DC are finally looking at plans post Nolan’s triology for Batman. I think the next interpretation of Batman we see on-screen will be far more comparable to the comics, meaning we may see a Nightwing movie yet. Just not one in conjunction to Nolan’s films (although I’ve heard DC may want Nolan as a producer overseeing all of their films)

  2. My introduction to Nightwing was the game: Batman: Arkham City, The little lore I read about him. I wonder how many other people there are like me. I’ve never been a comic book geek, but I’m a HUGE Dark Knight fan! From what I’ve read on Nightwing so far: It’d be an awesome movie, if done right. The Catwomen movie was HORRIBLE, I wanted so much more from that movie, Green lantern was alright in my opinion, and the latest movie: Avengers was fantastic, if a nightwing movie did in deed come out I would hope it’d be on par with these.

    • Trout slayer
    • July 21st, 2012

    *spoiler alert!

    After seeing the Dark Knight Rises, a Nightwing movie is a distinct possibility now.

    • But is it? Word is Warner Bros are rebooting Batman in 5 years. I think the John Blake/Nightwing ending was Nolan giving Warner Bros a lifeline for future movies if they needed it. As much as many fans like myself would want to see Blake become Nightwing, I sadly doubt we’ll see any form of continuation from The Dark Knight Rises.

    • joshfable
    • July 28th, 2012

    I think it would be awesome to have a nightwing movie it’s time we have a new face in super hero movies personally I’m tierd of seeing batman superman and so on over and over in constin reboot like there the only superheroes fans wish to see I think what they could do with it is skip all the robin sidekick part and start it of with him as nightwing for the first time after leaving batman side and later trew the movie show a little flash back here and there with him as robin with batman also showing the accident with his parents and even why he leve and pick up the name nightwing all of these or key factors needed to jump straight to a nightwing movie also so readers who may not know much of this now solo superhero will learn a long the way about him and where he also started

    • Nicole
    • August 3rd, 2012

    Nightwing movie hm i would love to watch, everyone has great ideas about this whole thing and theres everybody complaing about the whole name think yes nightwing will always be dick grayson but im kinda ify about the whole name thing but its whatever with me but haveing nolan still do a movie about batman just good all 3 batman movies were AMAZING and i feel like yes everyone really dosent know who nightwing is but they all know robin…and its about robin this i think people really should find out who nightwing is and his story who his parents died and his past and haveing a someone like huntress maybe an haveing hush in there i think it would be a great idea i wanna say more but idk about other people who hasnt seen the 3rd film and also i started to read some things when everyone is complaing about the his name i started thinking in all the batman movies(nolans) they dont tell the same thing that excactely happen i think there was a reason for it but i wish he tell what happen like two face some threw acid in his face(in the movie some gasoline? was on it instead and fire burn his face off) and bane really didnt saved talia from that prison and she was also never in that prison.

    but i would also like if they could tell the real nightwing story i just dont want anyone eles but nolan to do it cause to be honest that catwoman movie with halle berry was just….awful but orginal whole nightwing movie im up for it but one with john blake as night wing i rather see
    *off topic here i thought they shouldve showed more about bane and how he got to the prison..cause i heard the only friend he had was a teddy bear(:
    but anyways i hope they do make a nightwing movie if all three batman movies were amazing i dont think this nightwing movie would be a flop

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