ByAndrew Hines, writer at
Andrew Hines

We need a Nightwing movie and we need it now. After Joseph Gordon-Levitt's "Robin" character sent Batman fans into fits of nerd rage, the time is upon us to do the character justice. The only time a decent portrayal of Dick Grayson was ever shown was in the DCAU (short for DC Animated Universe) and frankly the only time he was portrayed correctly was in his short but sweet time in Batman: Under the Red Hood. He was funny, quick on his feet, acrobatic, had nearly perfect fighting skills and was basically the best Dick Grayson I've ever seen anywhere other than the comics.

We need a good Nightwing, if only for the fact that's basically like Bruce but more relatable. He's more agile, may even have faster reflexes, nearly par detective skills, also witnessed both parents die, founded the Teen Titans, ridiculous proficiency with both his trademark escrima and the bo staff, but on top of all that he actually has a decent personality. Even if he wasn't the original Robin, I'd still go with Nightwing because his makes for a great heroic story. His trapeze artist parents are killed in order to persuade the owner of Haly's Circus to buy into mid-level mobster Tony Zucco's protection racket. As a result, he was orphaned, adopted by Bruce Wayne and eventually trained as the first sidekick and eventual successor to Batman (though the "promotion" was fairly short-lived). For the majority of the Batman's 72-year run in continuity, Dick was the closest thing Bruce had to a son.

That's just the icing on the cake. Now we can get into the nuts and bolts of why Dick is worthy of having his own film, or (if we're all very, very good) a trilogy. Let's look at what makes up the former Boy Wonder. As we've established, he's a former circus performer who was, by most accounts, better than either of his parents. He bounced around and rarely, if ever, lost his grip or footing. He's lithe and quick on his feet, plus he cuts a very trim figure. He's funny and quick-witted, though very focused at the same time. He's got a few gadgets, but nothing the audience would easily lose track of or wonder where it was pulled from. He's quite logical, but open to more abstract possibilities when such views become a necessity. He has a line to Alfred and the Commissioner if the need should arise, so we can keep up with some familiar faces. Having been an acrobat, his every movement is more fluid, which allows for less stylized, but still sort of flashy manner of fighting. There's also no need for a cape and his costume's a bit simpler than most of those we've seen in recent years.

Now, let's talk casting. We can't go back to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, though he does have the appropriate look. The problem is that he's already been a screwed up version of the character, through no fault of his own. We need someone of impressive stature. I'm thinking at least 5'10", but no more than 6'2". We need someone who can be funny, but also put in enough time to be a bit of a gymnast while not putting on too much upper-body muscle. It may seem like asking a lot, but I'm thinking either Cam Gigandet or Sean Faris have both the height, look and build to play the part. Only Cam has the martial arts background, however. I would at first propose him, but I'd also be content with Ian Somerhalder or Eric Johnson. The latter two have the best look, but Johnson has that and the personality off-camera to really sell the role. Plus, with his physique, having played Flash Gordon in the doomed reboot and his 6'2" stature, he's pretty much perfect if he'd just dye his hair for the part.

With all of that in mind, I'm seriously hoping the higher-ups at DC decide to go with some of the lesser-known heroes like Nightwing to tie-in to their new Snyder-verse film collection in the wake of Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman. The younger and new fans are going to want more heroes on film, like Martian Manhunter, Cyborg and the formerly unimpressive Aquaman. Nightwing is the perfect transition to the all of the other widely unknowns out there in the DCU.


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