Pretty actor/model/actor-model Steven R. McQueen has departed his role in the TV show The Vampire Diaries, where he played "pretty fella who never does anything but his sister his really into vampires," in order to... well, no-one knows what he plans to do next. But the actor has long been lobbying for the chance to bring the DC superhero Nightwing to the screen, and with a Nightwing-based Titans TV show in development at TNT, it seems likely that McQueen has landed his dream role.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec pointedly noted that McQueen would be welcome to return to the show, "unless he finally gets his wish to play a superhero and he’s unavailable." As hints go, that seems like a heavy one. But is McQueen the right heartthrob to play comics' premiere hunk?

McQueen's enthusiasm for the role is undeniable. He's repeatedly posted Nightwing pictures to his Instagram account -- here, here, here, and here, for example, plus a picture of himself and Nightwing side-by-side. In a video interview with The Wrap in 2013 he talked about being a lifelong comic book fan, and said that he's joked with Arrow producer Greg Berlanti about playing Nightwing on that show. In November 2013 he tweeted a picture of himself working out at the gym, which he captioned 'Nightwing training.' He tagged Berlanti in the tweet.

And let's be frank; he looks the part. Nightwing is dark-haired, handsome, and ripped. McQueen is dark-haired, handsome, and ripped. At 23, he's a good age for a former sidekick-turned superhero. Judging from his Instagram, which I have studied intently as research for this article (cough cough), he spends a fair amount of time doing combat training, though his Vampire Diaries role didn't seem to require it. Nightwing needs to be handy in a fight; he also, in our humble opinion, needs to be a bona fide stud.



Kudos on that score, Steven R. McQueen. And he seems content to show himself off, which is also important for the role. Here's his inevitable ice bucket challenge video:



And this is what he wears to clean up dog pee:



McQueen has the look, and the physique. We can't find pictures of his butt, so we'll take it on faith for now that he can match Nightwing's prestigious posterior.

Whether he has the acting chops is the bigger question. McQueen has been with The Vampire Diaries since it launched in 2009. He was originally a slightly dweeby kid, and while he's transformed physically, he remains boyish. He can probably capture the personable affability that distinguishes Nightwing from his mentor Batman; it remains to be seen whether he can capture the steely confidence that one expects in a Batman protege.

McQueen may at least have some idea what it's like to live in the shadow of an impossibly cool and gritty father figure; he's named after his grandfather, the legendary Bullitt and Great Escape star Steve McQueen.

Steven R. McQueen -- the R is for Chadwick (his middle name is Chadwick) -- makes his final Vampire Diaries appearance in the fourteenth episode of the current season. The next episode to air is the eleventh, so McQueen's run ends soon -- and the pilot for Titans is expected to shoot in the next few months.

TNT is a subsidiary of Time Warner, the parent company of Warner Bros, and a sister network of The CW, which means crossovers with the DC shows Arrow and The Flash are not out of the question. Indeed, McQueen has been known to hang out with Arrow actor Steven Amell, probably at the secret tree house for young buff hotties where they play shirtless beer pong and spot each other's lifts, bro. (If anyone knows where this treehouse is, we will investigate further.)

We've mocked up an artist's impression of what McQueen might look like if he is cast in the role.





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