Justice League may only be a month away from hitting theatres, but it’s the future of the DCEU that has us most concerned.
After a stellar solo feature in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, the qualitative future of Warner Bros. shared superhero universe is almost impossible to gage. One moment, Justice League looks like the coolest comic book team-up ever – the next, it looks like the CGI-blended typification of all that’s wrong with the Warner’s world. There’s literally no consistency to speak of and, as the universe gears up for its next stage, talk of a Joker-Harley rom com has intimated bluntly that we’re not out of the woods yet.
Should fans of Nightwing – the next superhero in line for a solo feature – be worried? Perhaps, but at least they have something to look forward to in Chris McKay’s direction, with the director having already completed one Bat-related project in the Lego Batman Movie. Irrespective of your thoughts on that particular feature, past statements from his camp give cause for encouragement, even if the language hasn’t always been as on point as we’d have liked.
Dick Grayson is a special character and one who means a great deal to plenty of comics fans. It needs to be a different kind of comic book film though – one that must navigate a plethora of pitfalls along the way.
10. Ignoring The Coming Of Age Feel
Dick Grayson has the unique occupation of being one of the few heroes in the DC Universe that’s grown as literally as he has thematically. Fans have seen him become Robin as a teen, leave Batman to become his own man as Nightwing, and later even take on the mantle of the Bat himself. There’s no character in the DCU that’s travelled the same distance as he has, so any film should, ideally, replicate that element onscreen.
There’s no point in taking a character like Dick Grayson and turning him into a proto-Batman, because it’d waste the very evident potential there is in his story. If it’s a prequel (and we surely hope that it is), then it would do well to kick off from the moment Dick leaves the cave and carves out his own path in an unfamiliar city, away from Bat-fleck and away from the red and green costume.
Audiences will know who Dick Grayson is – he’s the most famous Robin after all – but the whole Nightwing thing is a relatively untested concept for mainstream audiences. It’s all well and good to make a ‘badass’ Nightwing film, but if you ignore the fundamental aspects of the character’s journey then you may as well not bother.