We didn’t see this one coming. “Girls” and “Frances Ha” star Adam Driver is up for the role of Dick Grayson in Warner Bros.’ forthcoming and still-untitled film where Batman faces off against Superman (affectionately dubbed, “Batman Vs. Superman” for now). Grayson is of course Robin, Batman’s sidekick who in the comics grew up, shed his old persona and mentor and became the hero known as “Nightwing.”
Nightwing was rumored to be a part of the film earlier in the week and now The Wrap seems to back that story up. The inclusion of Nightwing is an interesting choice for director Zack Snyder and David Goyer. The Batman Ben Affleck is set to play in this series is said to be grizzled, disenchanted and retired, and this fits in perfectly with his relationship with Grayson. In the comics, an older Grayson, tired of being Batman’s sidekick, has a falling out with his mentor, rechristens himself a new hero (Nightwing) and then essentially leaves the band to go solo. So that’s certainly an indication of where this might go?
As for Driver: that’s kind of amazing. Supposedly, the studio had been looking for “a young John Hawkes type,” and while that’s an odd concept in and of itself (was John Hawkes ever young?), Driver fits it neatly. He’s consistently livened up films with his presence since breaking out on “Girls” (stealing the show in everything from “Lincoln” to “Tracks“) and, lest you think that he can’t handle the physical kind of things, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Driver is a former Marine. So call him a hipster to his face. He double dares you.
Michael Shannon in “Man of Steel” proved that inspired casting doesn’t always make for an interesting performance (or movie), but should this work out (and we should stress that it’s early stages, and other actors appear to be in the running, the idea of Driver as the faithful companion to Ben Affleck’s Batman is more than enough to sell us a ticket. Hell, we could watch a whole sitcom about that. “Batman Vs. Superman Vs. Adam Driver,” as it will henceforth be known, starts filming in the near future and will hit theaters on July 17, 2015.