Nightwing, a.k.a. Dick Grayson, made a splashy return to Gotham City in 2016 as part of DC Comics highly successful Rebirth series. Now he's set to take over movie screens in a live action version that has been given the green light by DC and Warner Bros. Director Chris McKay, currently in the spotlight with the release of his "The LEGO Batman Movie," has been slated to direct as his live action feature film debut.

Dick Grayson

As McKay revealed in an interview with IGN, he was attracted to the differences between the Batman story and that of the younger, athletic Dick Grayson.

Grayson is an acrobat who grew up in a family of circus performers. He watches as a Mafia boss kills his parents, and the experience turns Dick into a star recruit for Batman as his sidekick Robin. Dick takes on the Nightwing role when he parts company with the Caped Crusader to become his own superhero. In the convoluted DC Comics universe, that's the short version of the story.

In contrast with Bruce Wayne's privileged upbringing, the Flying Graysons were financially strapped, and lived from show to show in a traveling circus until the parents were gunned down. Dick Grayson has a different view of the world than Batman -- much more upbeat than the notoriously morose Dark Knight. With the right script, it may just prove the Dc Extended Universe movie that breaks the gloomy curse of Batman and Superman, where many critics complained of the dark tone of the films.

Who will play Nightwing?

Since the "Nightwing" movie was confirmed last week, speculation has been rampant as to who will play the potentially career defining role. "Supernatural" star Jared Padalecki was asked by a fan on Twitter if he would consider the part.

His answer was an enthusiastic yes. It's a role that could potentially translate his current mass appeal from the TV show to an even wider international audience, provided the script was right.

Other names being thrown around the rumor mill, including a poll on Collider, include Byung Hun Lee, whose acrobatics have lit up many action movies, Corey Hawkins, who's proven his action cred on "24: Legacy," Steven Yeun of "The Walking Dead," and Jared's "Supernatural" cohort, Jensen Ackles.

"Nightwing" will be a stand alone story in the DC Extended Universe. Screenwriter Bill Dubuque ("The Accountant") is said to be working on the script.