If there’s anything we can learn from the CW’s (surprisingly) excellent take on Green Arrow, it’s that the DC Universe can work very well as a serialized drama, provided it’s based in some kind of reality, and perhaps if it’s got a new and interesting take on the material. It seems an independent production feels the same way, as it unveiled the first episode of its proposed 7-part Grayson: Earth One
The 16-minute episode is the brainchild of writer/director/producer/cinematographer Hisonni Johnson, and it tells a very different kind of origin story for the man who would be Nightwing. The series takes place in a world where “The Batman” is a new force but Richard Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Helena Bertinelli, and Carrie Kelley (proteges of the Caped Crusader) already exist and are, in one fashion or another, already bad-asses. Richard (because who would go by Dick?) is a rocker who wears black eye paint and who rides a motorcycle wearing a black jacket with blue trim. It looks… vaguely familiar. Also, the big and scary Dr. Victor Friese is abducting women for some experiment and killing them if they aren’t a genetic match. Bad stuff.
Mr. Johnson is looking to make the short into a series and needs money to make six more episodes. For this, he’s turned to a friend of filmmakers, Indiegogo, and is asking for $40,000. We’ll let him tell you more about it in his own words.
The production is top-notch and has very impressive visuals and stunt work, not to mention a very cool take on characters we all know very well. The campaign is offering many perks for the different levels of donation, including thank-yous, digital downloads, Blu-rays, signed posters, a pitch meeting for an episode of the series, a walk-on role, and even a custom-made version of the aforementioned Grayson motorcycle jacket. It’s all pretty great, really. If you like seeing innovative people doing great independent work, and you want to see more of this version of Nightwing beating up gang members, then consider throwing in some clams. There are 46 days left, so you can say you got in on the ground floor.