Source: Shanlian on Batman Podcast
LEGO Batman Director on What Makes Nightwing ‘Fascinating’
Any doubt about the marketability of LEGO Batman has been alleviated with the popularity of The LEGO Batman Movie. The film has been the number one movie at the box office for the past few weeks, surpassing its $80 million budget to make a profit while enjoying a healthy 91 percent Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Warner Bros. and Batman aren’t the only ones enjoying the success of the film, as director Chris McKay has parlayed the success of The LEGO Batman Movie into a live-action gig, with the recently announced Nightwing film. McKay recently made an appearance on a Batman fan podcast to discuss his take on the character, and how Dick Grayson differs from his mentor Bruce Wayne.
The Shanlian on Batman Podcast team had a lengthy conversation with McKay, where he shared his insights on Nightwing and what makes him such a great part of the Batman Universe:
“Bruce Wayne in my mind came from privilege and I think that’s why he’s more dour and angry. He’s self-made as far as his becoming all of these cool things we like him for… Dick Grayson didn’t come from that. Dick Grayson came from a circus family. Essentially people who aren’t rich and they are self-made. They’re entertainers. They’re gymnasts. They’re people who live hand-to-mouth and that’s something that informs him and his attitude… he’s a fascinating guy to me, because he had all the same things happen to him. He’s got some of the same negatives as Bruce Wayne and then from a society standpoint — obviously he was adopted into Bruce Wayne’s life… but he didn’t start that way. He’s this guy who has all these negatives and then even more negatives and yet he remains… Those are things why I like Dick Grayson, why I like the idea of Nightwing as a movie.”
Nightwing, as comic book fans are already well aware, is the adult superhero persona of the original Robin, Dick Grayson. There has always been a point in time, whether in the comics or cartoons, that the first Robin began to age into his later teen years and would rebel against Batman, his adoptive father. The most common version of events are that Robin leaves to join the Teen Titans team and in an effort to find his own identity, he adapts the persona of Nightwing. In the comic books, Nightwing eventually moves to the crime-ridden city of Blüdhaven and establishes himself as that city’s hero. In his best efforts to move out of the shadow of the bat, he ironically puts himself in an identical scenario.
DC Comics has played up the differences and similarities in Batman and his sidekick, who has since gone on to become a prominent character in the DCU in his own right, and it sounds as though those contrasting elements are what McKay is eager to explore in the live-action film. It will be interesting to see how successful McKay is in translating his interpretation of the character and how audiences react to his vision.