Growing up with Robin
The director of the upcoming live-action Nightwing movie isn't yet at liberty to say much about it. But, while promoting The Lego Ninjago Movie, Chris McKay spoke with GameSpot about why he loves the character Dick Grayson--A.K.A. Nightwing.
"I think that this character is so unique in the history of comics, because no other character really grows up," McKay explained. "Spider-Man kind of perpetually stays within an age range. All these other characters--Reed Richards' greying temples are always that. Robin grew up from being a kid and working with Batman, and then leaving Batman, and then going off and becoming his own thing and several versions of his own things."
Nightwing was introduced in Superman #158 back in 1963. At the time, he was simply an alternate identity for Superman when Clark Kent was stranded on an alien planet. The hero's most well-known incarnation is former Batman sidekick Dick Grayson, who assumed the identity in 1985, inspired by the legend of a Kryptonian vigilante.
"A lot of people who followed comic books when they were kids actually grew up with Robin. And they might have even not liked him in the beginning--because it was like, 'I like Batman, he's the cool one, not this dork.' [Robin] was made as this window character for kids to sort of get into the Batman world," McKay said. "For me, that's great red meat, because that was my experience growing up with him."
McKay hesitated to say more, citing the "DC snipers" pointing proverbial red dots at his forehead.
"The problem is, literally anything you say--if I even reference you know, like, 'Nightwing Year 1 did this thing'--then it's like, 'Oh, they're going to do the Nightwing Year 1 story!'" he said.
Grasping for something further McKay might be able to comment on, we asked him whether he'd want to tackle Nightwing's origin story on the big screen.
"Yeah, absolutely," he said.
"How we approach that story, and tell that story, that's getting into probably what I can't totally answer right now," he continued. "But [Ozark creator and The Accountant writer] Bill Dubuque's writing the script, and he is awesome. I can say that."
The Nightwing movie has no expected release date just yet, but stay tuned to GameSpot Universe and you'll know more as soon as we do.