As (opens in new tab), Warner Bros. and DC are also developing a separate live-action movie centered on another famous hero from Gotham City. (opens in new tab) reports that Nightwing is getting his own film, and The Lego Batman Movie’s Chris McKay will direct from a script by Bill Dubuque (The Accountant). For those who don’t know, Nightwing is the alter-ego of an older Dick Grayson, who - after his time fighting crime as Robin alongside Batman - struck out on his own and crafted a new superhero persona. Armed with his dual clubs, a high-tech suit, and the acrobatic skills he’s built up over the course of his life, Nightwing protects the nearby city of Blüdhaven.
Though Dick Grayson has appeared on film multiple times (including most recently in The Lego Batman Movie, as voiced by Michael Cera), Nightwing has never made an appearance in a live-action movie. I’ve had some issues with DC’s movies lately, but it’s undeniable that they’re great at casting; with that in mind, let’s take a look at some possible choices for who might be able to play Nightwing in his DCEU debut.
Who should play Nightwing?
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My personal pick to play Nightwing is Ben Barnes, who I think is absolutely perfect for the part. He just feels right to me: he has a little bit of an edge to him, he can definitely pull off the “troubled past” vibe, and he has the exact right look to play the masked, club-wielding hero. This would be a great opportunity to play someone who’s the complete opposite of his greedy, morally bankrupt character from HBO’s Westworld and finally make his mark in a memorable big-screen role.
The dude almost played Batman in George Miller’s Justice League movie, which was cancelled at the last minute due to the Writers’ Strike back in 2008. So why not give him a shot to play Nightwing, the next best thing to the Dark Knight? There have been some rumors he may be interested in playing Green Lantern in the DCEU, but now that Nightwing is on the table, anything is possible.
Luna would be an excellent choice for the role. He has a boyish face but still feels like he’s had some important life experiences, and in Rogue One he showed off an independent spirit that we need to see in this character.
JGL already played Christopher Nolan’s version of Robin as John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises, and the way that movie ends - with Blake about to become the new Batman - left me wanting to see how Gordon-Levitt would do suited up as a hero. If he were cast in Nightwing, fans would finally have that question answered. Plus, he’s a legitimately great actor, so even taking away his unique history with the Bat-universe, he’d be a solid choice.
The former Hunger Games star campaigned hard for the role of Spider-Man a few years ago, but now he’s aged up a little and might be an interesting choice for a younger take on Nightwing. He has the physicality necessary for the hero’s acrobatics, and a ton of blockbuster experience already under his belt. I can easily imagine him holding his own opposite Affleck’s world-weary Batman.
Michael B. Jordan
Despite the facts that he’ll be appearing in Marvel’s Black Panther and that he’s already starred as The Human Torch in the failed Fantastic Four reboot, I can’t help but want to see Michael B. Jordan suit up as Nightwing. He has the sex appeal and the athleticism to pull this off, and he also has enough charm to pull in people who’ve been turned off by what they’ve seen from the DCEU so far.
If you’ve only seen this guy in cheesy movies, you may not be aware that he’s a surprisingly decent actor. Hedlund has a gravitas to him that would work well for this character, and seeing him suited up in Tron: Legacy gives us a bit of a sneak peek at what he could look like donning Nightwing’s sleek suit. Just throw a mask on him, substitute that Tron disc for a pair of eskrima clubs, and let your imaginations run wild.