While The Batman found a new director earlier this week, Warner Bros. also added a new film to its DC Extended Universe slate: Nightwing. The studio entered negotiations with The LEGO Batman Movie helmer Chris McKay to direct a Nightwing movie, bringing a new superhero into the DCEU fold. The question now becomes: Who’s going to fill this sure-to-be-coveted role?
The Nightwing character in the comics has most prominently been Dick Grayson, the adopted ward of Bruce Wayne who serves as his sidekick Robin. Nightwing is who Grayson becomes when he grows out of the sidekick role and serves as his own superhero, wielding a pair of Escrima Sticks as his signature weapon of choice.
It makes sense for Warner Bros. to make a Nightwing movie after casting Ben Affleck as Batman. Affleck’s version of the Dark Knight is an older, more grizzled hero, and so it stands to reason that Grayson has already become Nightwing in the world of the DCEU. And as for that Robin costume memorial in Affleck’s Batcave seen in Batman v Superman, well Zack Snyder never specified which Robin is dead.
It may be some time before the Nightwing movie comes to fruition, and we have no idea what kind of film McKay will make. The LEGO Batman Movie, McKay’s first solo directorial effort, was a comedy with a big emotional center, so Nightwing could have a comedic bent. Or it’s possible McKay is telling a serious superhero story. Again, we have no idea, but that clearly won’t stop the fan-casting.
So while admitting we have no clue what direction the character will be taken in, we’ve assembled a list of potential candidates to play Nightwing. They range from Michael Cera, who voiced Robin in The LEGO Batman Movie, to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who played Robin in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises—although admittedly Gordon-Levitt is a stretch as that would connect the DCEU to Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and the filmmaker has been clear about not wanting that to happen.
Here are the candidates we’ve chosen:
- Joseph-Gordon Levitt – Proven talent, young enough, and has DC history.
- Michael Cera – For a more comedic bent on the character.
- Ben Barnes – The Chronicles of Narnia actor showed versatility on HBO’s Westworld.
- Corey Hawkins – Straight Outta Compton showed promise, and he can certainly handle action as seen on Fox’s 24: Legacy.
- Byung Hun Lee – If you want an actor who can perform the acrobatic stunts, he’s your man.
- Jensen Ackles – The Supernatural star played Jason Todd in the animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood.
- Milo Ventimiglia – The Heroes actor is red-hot again thanks to This Is Us.
- Kevin Zegers – He’s got the look.
- Riz Ahmed – Really the Rogue One and The Night Of standout should be in everything.
- Richard Madden – The King of the North!
- Garrett Hedlund – It’s only a matter of time before Hedlund leads his own superhero movie, so why not Nightwing?
- Finn Wittrock – After first breaking out on American Horror Story, standout turns in The Big Short and Unbroken put Wittrock on the map, with a La La Land appearance as well.
- Steven Yeun – The Walking Dead alum has some free time on his hands now…