When news broke in February 2015 that The CW was looking to expand its DC Universe-centric prime-time lineup with a “superhero team-up show,” many viewers thought they would be bringing a live-action version of The Teen Titans to the small screen. As one of the longest-running and successful comic book series, it seemed like a no-brainer that the network would develop it for television. However, we ended up with Legends of Tomorrow, a motley crew of guest-stars from two other DC shows, Arrow and The Flash. Fans were crushed, but then news came that the cable network TNT was interested in developing a Teen Titans pilot, and that’s where things got interesting.
Simply called Titans, this pilot was rumored to start casting roles in the summer of 2016. Alas, news came in the fall of last year that TNT passed on the idea, leaving fans tired of getting their hopes up only to have them completely crushed. To everyone’s surprise, DC announced earlier this year that they would be moving forward with a live-action Teen Titans series. Details have slowly trickled in, but CBR has the scoop on what we can expect and a few things we hope we get to see.
15. FACT: IT’S LAUNCHING IN 2018
Warner Bros made a big digital move with one of its flagship brands, DC Entertainment. It was announced in April that DC would be launching their own streaming service with the Greg Berlanti-developed Titans and the third season of Young Justice in 2018. The DC-branded digital platform had apparently been in the works for several months and is designed to be an immersive fan experience that will encompass comics and TV.
DC Entertainment president and chief creative officer Geoff Johns will be collaborating with Greg Berlanti to develop the series. Exploring one of the most popular comic book teams in DC history, fans can expect to see the likes of Dick Grayson, Starfire, Raven and others featured in this adaptation. Titans marks the first live-action series in the digital platform space for DC, which currently has eight broadcast series on the air include the Arrowverse shows, iZombie and Gotham.
14. RUMOR: DAMIAN WAYNE WILL APPEAR
Damian Wayne is the illegitimate son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, and the grandson of Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul, who eventually becomes the fifth (and current) Robin. Violent and self-centered, Damian was trained by the League of Assassins, learning to kill at a young age, which causes friction between him and his father. After being under the tutelage of Nightwing and Batman, Damian later joins the Teen Titans and slowly learns to fight for justice, not just for the kill.
While we know that Dick Grayson will be featured in the series, but we don’t know if he’s going by his Robin or Nightwing persona. Given the character description so far, we’d say closer to Nightwing. Gotham star David Mazouz has expressed interest in playing Damian Wayne in the DCEU and we think the fan favorite would be perfect as Batman’s complicated son.
13. FACT: TEAGAN CROFT IS RAVEN
In the comics, Raven is the daughter of the demon Trigon and a human mother named Arella. She is an empath who can teleport and has a shadow “soul-self”, which can fight physically as well as act as her eyes and ears away from her physical body. Raven eventually masters other forms of magic, including telekinesis, telepathy, energy projection and even reality warping. It remains to be seen if her live action incarnation will have identical powers.
Australian newcomer Teagan Croft has landed the role, though it has yet to be announced if she will be going by Raven or by her civilian name, Rachel Roth. Her previous work includes a recurring role on the Australian daytime drama Home and Away and a starring turn in the sci-fi movie The Osiris Child. Said to be the youngest member of the team,the show will also feature Raven’s mother in some capacity.
12. RUMOR: BARBARA GORDON WILL MAKE AN APPEARANCE
Commissioner Gordon’s little girl is a staple in the Batman family as Batgirl, starting out as a child prodigy to Batman and then eventually branching out on her own. After being shot by The Joker in the infamous “Killing Joke” storyline, Barbara is paralyzed from the waist down but finds a new way to fight crime as a computer hacker named Oracle. It’s under the Oracle identity that she forms the Birds of Prey comprised of herself, Black Canary, Huntress and various other heroes including Hawk and Dove.
Though Barbara was never an official member of Teen Titans in the comic books, she has a very close and long-standing relationship with Nightwing. While we know that Batgirl is getting her own solo movie in the future, that still leaves room for Barbara Gordon to make an appearance as Oracle, especially since we know that Oracle already exists in the Arrowverse.
11. FACT: ANNA DIOP IS STARFIRE
An alien princess who escapes to Earth following wrong imprisonment by her sister, Starfire was a charter member of the Teen Titans. Having an array of abilities including flight, super-strength and energy blasts, she is one of the most powerful members of the team. Starfire has been featured in various animated DC projects involving the Teen Titans, often leading the team in the field.
In 2006, Anna Diop got her big break, playing Diedra in the hit sitcom Everybody Hates Chris and hasn’t stopped working since. Most recently, she had major roles in Greenleaf and Fox’s 24 reboot, 24:Legacy. Diop has been cast in the role of Starfire for the series, causing some uproar from fans over an African American actress assuming the part. Since Starfire is orange in the comics, it seems like any actress would need heavy makeup to pull of the look no matter what their race.
10. RUMOR: WONDER GIRL WILL SHOW UP
The Wonder Girl that we are talking about is the original, Donna Troy, who was a founding member of the Teen Titans. While her origin seems to change a little every decade, she has been a stalwart member of the team in almost every iteration. Amazon sister or no, Donna Troy is a powerhouse with superhuman strength, flight, as well as a Lasso of Persuasion and indestructible bracelets similar to Wonder Woman’s.
With the phenomenal success of Wonder Woman, we would be hard-pressed to think DC won’t capitalize as much as possible on the name. While we know Diana will likely stay on the silver screen, it would be stupid of DC to pass up an opportunity to showcase the next best thing. Even if it’s just a one-episode role, we think it would be worth it to give the other Amazon a chance to shine.
9. FACT: BRENTON THWAITES IS DICK GRAYSON
Batman fans will recognize the name Dick Grayson as Bruce Wayne’s first sidekick, Robin, who he adopted after Dick’s parents died in an accident. Robin would fight alongside Batman during his formative years, but eventually struck out on his own and became leader of the Teen Titans, assuming the name Nightwing. A skilled acrobat, aerialist and hand-to-hand combatant, Dick also uses high-tech equipment and weapons similar to Batman’s.
Brenton Thwaites has been cast in the lead role of Dick Grayson. Thwaites also had a recurring role on the daytime drama Home and Away, but went on to star in several feature films including 2013’s Oculus and Maleficent the year after that. Most recently he was seen playing Henry Turner, son of Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner, in this year’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
8. RUMOR: AN ARROWVERSE CROSSOVER
Given that the current Arrowverse line-up is averaging at least one crossover event per season, it could include Titans once it gets up and running. Last season’s crossover centered around an alien invasion and this season’s explores Earth-X, with the heroes battling their evil doppelgangers from a parallel dimension. While Black Lightning wasn’t included in this announcement, Supergirl didn’t appear in a crossover during its first season, either.
Seeing as how many supporting characters in the Arrowverse have been members of the Teen Titans in the comics including Speedy, Arsenal and Kid Flash, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the new series joined in on a crossover event in its second season (should it last that long). Since it’s going to be a new superhero show on a shared DC streaming platform, creators probably want to see how it stands on its own before involving existing characters from other shows.
7. FACT: ALAN RITCHSON AND MINKA KELLY ARE HAWK & DOVE
Hawk and Dove first appeared in 1968 as heroes whose powers were derived from the Lords of Chaos and Order, respectively, with their powers mystical in origin. Originally two brothers, the characters were rebooted with Hank Hall returning as Hawk and Dawn Granger taking over as Dove for the deceased Don Hall. Hawk possesses abilities such as super strength, unlimited stamina, enhanced speed and agility, while Dove also has enhanced agility, she also possesses a sixth sense and can project blinding beams of light.
Alan Ritchson is no stranger to comic book characters since he portrayed Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, in multiple episodes of Smallville. Mika Kelly got her big break in a series regular role on NBC’s hit show Friday Night Lights. For now, Hawk & Dove are categorized as recurring characters, so it remains to be seen how much they’re going to be involved.
6. RUMOR: TRIGON WILL MAKE AN APPEARANCE
In the comic books, Trigon is a powerful demon who relishes in enslaving worlds and killing for his own personal gain. He is also the father of Teen Titan’s very own Raven, whom he sired with a human mother. Raven has to constantly suppress her demonic side in order to keep Trigon at bay. With the help of the Teen Titans, Raven has been able to successfully banish him from Earth, although he still has followers who have tried to revive him several times.
Some have even speculated that the character of Acolyte will be a combination of Trigon and Acolyte. Given the age and description provided in the casting call, paired with the fact that we know Acolyte will be hunting Raven down, it is very possible. A throwdown with the team facing off against a demonic god sounds like an awesome first season finale to us.
5. FACT: BEAST BOY WILL BE PART OF THE TEAM
Beast Boy first appeared back in the ’60s, though the contemporary version of the character most fans recognize debuted in 1980 and has been a member of the Doom Patrol and Teen Titans. A shapeshifter with the ability to transform into any animal or an animal-like form, Beast Boy also has a close friendship with Cyborg, which is depicted in both Teen Titans animated series. Occasionally overlooked as the “comic relief” of the team, fans also know that he is often the heart of the team.
While the role has yet to be cast, we do know that Beast Boy will be a series regular on Titans. Although his character description states he’s an “amateur thief” who hides his insecurities and painful past with humor, it sounds like Beast Boy to us. Stay tuned for casting information on this fan favorite.
4. RUMOR: STARFIRE AND NIGHTWING WILL GET IT ON
Starfire and Nightwing have had an on-and-off again relationship in the comics for decades, they even almost got married once. While we already know that Hawk and Dove will be a featured romantic couple, fans are clamoring for a live-action representation Dick and Kory’s love affair. The relationship has been hinted at in the recent Teen Titans animated movies Justice League vs. Teen Titans and Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.
It doesn’t hurt that Anna Diop and Brenton Thwaites are ridiculously attractive, so they are bound to end up together at some point. Since the audience is anticipating this relationship, creators may be smart in letting it be a slow burn, especially if Starfire and Nightwing don’t know each other in the beginning of the series. Although we’re excited just to have this team come alive on television, this is one office romance we can’t wait to see.
3. FACT: ACOLYTE WILL BE THE TEAM’S FIRST VILLAIN
Appearing in the pages of Young Justice back in 1999, Acolyte has a devilish appearance with blue skin and horns. Not much backstory is given on this villain, so expect the series to take some liberties with his origin and agenda. Though he appears to be little more than a human despite claims of immortality, we will probably see a change up in his power set to make him more of a threat.
This role has yet to be cast as well, however at this time we know that Acolyte will be the main villain who is after Raven for some unknown reason. It’s been stated that he will be the one responsible for killing Raven’s mother, sending her on the run at the beginning of the series. Stay tuned for casting news on the team’s first villain.
2. RUMOR: THE JUDAS CONTRACT
One of the most famous and well-written storylines in Teen Titans history, “The Judas Contract” found a member of the team betraying them to Deathstroke. In the midst of all this, Robin and Kid Flash also retire, Nightwing is born and Deathstroke’s son, Jericho, is introduced. We’re hoping that creators bring this quintessential Teen Titans story to life, even though we’ve seen it in multiple animated iterations.
We know that the team’s betrayer, Terra, had a close relationship to Beast Boy, who we already know is going to be part of Titans. Once Acolyte is dealt with, they’re going to need a new villain to take his place and Deathstroke with his plot to destroy the team from within would be perfect. Let the dream casting begin!
1. FACT: IT’S A REVISION OF TNT’S FAILED PILOT
In 2015, it was announced that TNT would be shooting the pilot for a Teen Titans series for TV simply called Titans. Akiva Goldsman had been commissioned to write the script featuring fan favorites like Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, Barbara Gordon and Hawk & Dove. Just as casting is about to start, TNT underwent a huge leadership change and effectively dropped the project.
Goldman returns as the series writer for this version and, unlike the previous incarnation, is set to include Beast Boy. Cyborg is probably a stretch to get since he will be featured in the Justice League movie. Similarly, with Batgirl’s upcoming solo movie, creators probably wanted to avoid the confusion and dropped the Barbara Gordon character as a regular. It’s also worth mentioning that the previous script had Dick Grayson joining the police force of Bludhaven; Dick is also said to be a police officer in this version.
What are you hoping to see in the Titans show? Let us know in the comments!
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