Since its inception back in 2008, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has operated like a well-oiled machine, all under the watchful eye of Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. However, while Marvel is a studio that is largely producer-driven, the writer/director of the upcoming Nightwing film Chris McKay says that Warner Bros. has a different approach when it comes to building its own shared cinematic universe based on the DC Comics.
“Warner Bros is a more director-driven studio. Period. The end,” McKay said in an interview with Metro. “More than any other studio you’re ever going to work at. Just look at the roster of world class filmmakers that have worked at Warner Bros and made it their home. Warner Bros is a director-driven studio, and that’s exactly how they are operating these movies.”
"That’s the kind of filmmaking you are going to see, and have seen with Patty Jenkins on Wonder Woman," McKay continued. "That’s what they have done and what they will continue to do, and that’s why these movies are not trying to follow the Marvel model, they’re trying to do their own thing with filmmakers that they like, and produce things that are wholly original and wholly unique."
Despite using different methods to achieve similar goals as the rival studio, McKay doesn't seem to have any doubt that Warner Bros. remains fully committed to the overall shaping and success of the DC Extended Universe.
“They still want to build a universe, and that’s why it takes a lot of time and a lot of people banging their heads together trying to figure out what to do," McKay said. "Because it’s hard. It’s hard to get all these people, and all these egos, and all this stuff in one place and get it all to work out. But they are committed to that, and that’s what’s amazing about working with Jon [Berg] and Geoff [Johns]. They’re real partners, and so is everyone at the Warner Bros family.”
Given McKay's passion and understanding of the character, a director-driven Nightwing film should bode well for fans of the titular hero. Anyone auditioning will certainly need to share the director's passion, though, because to strike the right tone, McKay will ask a lot out of his cast and crew.
“It’s gonna be a fucking badass action movie with a lot of heart and emotion,” McKay said previously about the film. “It’s gonna be a crazy, fun ride. Whoever gets cast as Nightwing, and any of the other actors around, are gonna go through a fucking boot camp experience because it’s gonna be a lot.”
Warner Bros. has yet to announce a release date for Nightwing.