Why Billy From ‘Stranger Things’ is a Terrible Choice for Nightwing

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Netflix/DC)

Rumors have been bouncing around over the weekend, as Stranger Things season two newcomer Dacre Montgomery, who plays everyone least favorite character, Billy, tweeted out a potential hint that he might be taking on the role of Dick Grayson, the superhero Nightwing, in the upcoming DCEU movie.

Montgomery’s tweet, which was suspiciously deleted shortly after it was posted, merely featured a picture of the iconic hero, and three periods, hinting that the actor might know more than he’s able to say.

Nightwing Tweet
Source: Twitter/Dacre Montgomery

Naturally, this was all the fodder that the internet needed before rampant speculation could begin in earnest, and as such, everyone started wondering what kind of Nightwing Dacre Montgomery might be.

The original Robin to Bruce Wayne’s Batman, Dick Grayson has since taken on his own superhero identity, and even stepped into the Caped Crusader’s shoes when Bruce Wayne was dead for a few years.

Unlike Batman, Nightwing has never completely lost his sense of whimsy and a kind of roguish charm – he does an awful lot more than stalk bad guys in the shadows and talk in a creepy voice.

As such, Nightwing needs a commanding presence. We need to actually, genuinely like Dick Grayson, in a way that we’ve never really had to like any cinematic incarnation of Bruce Wayne.

Source: DC Comics

This is especially true considering the movie’s director. Nightwing will be helmed by Chris McKay, best known for The Lego Batman Movie, and it’d be nice to get a lead actor for the film who has at least the tiniest spark of charisma.

Unfortunately for Dacre Montgomery, his only turn as a superhero thus far hasn’t exactly proven that he’s capable of being an engaging leading man.

Montgomery played Jason, the Red Ranger, in this year’s Power Rangers reboot, and it didn’t exactly go well. Admittedly, the movie is tonally confused to say the least, veering between gritty teenage melodrama and a Saturday morning cartoon vibe that just doesn’t work in this context.

Billy in Power Rangers
Source: Lionsgate

Montgomery hardly elevated the project, though. His version of Jason, a grumpy football player, is one of the least interesting characters in the group of new Power Rangers, and the actor doesn’t really do anything to make himself stand out.

Couple this with the fact that most people really only know him as the jerky teenager from Stranger Things season two, and it’s easy to see why he might not be a fantastic Nightwing.

Ideally, this role would go to someone with some personality, who could do something interesting with the role. Thus far, Montgomery feels like too much of a blank slate as an actor.

The time of uninteresting audience cyphers as lead characters has ended – nobody wants to see Keanu Reeves as Neo when they could instead have Keanu Reeves as John Wick. If Montgomery is the new Nightwing, and he fails to make anyone actually care about his character, then one promising DCEU movie could end up falling flat right from the start.

Here’s hoping that an engaging, talented actor gets the role of Nightwing, and that if that actor does happen to be Dacre Montgomery, he’ll prove himself capable of the task at hand.

We’re still waiting for an actor to do a better job as Dick Grayson than Burt Ward, and that’s pretty depressing when you think about it.