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The Real Reason Why Aladdin Star Mena Massoud Wants To Play This Beloved Superhero

Mena Massoud has had some ups and downs in his Hollywood career so far. The Egyptian-Canadian earned positive notices for his performance in "Aladdin," but then couldn't get an audition afterwards, he told The Daily Beast in 2019. It's hard for Arab actors to find roles that aren't negative or stereotypical depictions, and Massoud does go on auditions, he's usually one of the only non-white faces in the waiting room. But that can't stop him from dreaming big and putting it out there that he wants parts that typically don't go to people like him. He wants to be a superhero — and one superhero in particular.

In an interview with Screen Rant promoting the animated film "Lamya's Poem," Massoud said that he wants to play Dick Grayson, also known as Nightwing, in a DC Extended Universe movie.

Nightwing is the grown-up version of Dick Grayson, formerly known as Bruce Wayne's ward and sidekick Robin, after he grows up and sets out on his own. He has a complicated relationship with his father figure, which has been explored in numerous comics, animated projects, and live-action shows and movies including, presently, the HBO Max series "Titans," on which Dick Grayson is played by Brenton Thwaites.

There's a Nightwing movie in development, and Massoud wants the role.

Mena Massoud is 'drawn' to Nightwing

Massoud told Screen Rant that he's always loved Batman, but that character has been done so well so many times that he doesn't feel like he has much to add. With Nightwing, on the other hand, there's room to do something new. "Nightwing just has a really interesting story [that] hasn't been done before, he's a little bit younger," Massoud said. "So yeah, he's a character I've just always been drawn to."

So far, Nightwing hasn't gotten a movie of his own, but DC has one in development from "The Lego Batman Movie" director Chris McKay. McKay gave an update on the project over the summer, saying it was on DC's backburner but wasn't dead. And if it starts moving, Mena Massoud will be ready. He stays in near-superhero shape to show he'd be up to the physical demands of the role.

"I want to play a superhero, so I got to look like a superhero," Massoud said. "Maybe I got to get in shape like a superhero before I'm cast as one, but I think it's important to put things out there in the universe that you want to do and just really work really hard and smart towards them and... see what happens."

It's a good strategy. We hadn't considered Mena Massoud as Nightwing before this interview, and now we can't imagine anyone else, nor do we want to.