WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Titans Season 2, streaming now on DC Universe.
Nearing the end of its second season, DC Universe's Titans is finally pushing Dick Grayson to become his own hero: Nightwing. But it hasn't been an easy journey, for the former Robin or for the people behind the scenes of the live-action series.
During a Q&A with members of the press after officially unveiling the design of the Nightwing costume, Titans executive producer and showrunner Greg Walker explained why the series took almost two full seasons to take Dick in this direction, and what it means for the character to become Nightwing.
Since the series premeiere, the Dick Grayson seen on Titans has grown away from his previous role as Robin. While navigating his complicated relationship with Bruce Wayne and his successor as Robin, Jason Todd, Dick has reassembled the Titans and slowly worked his way through a dark period of self-reflection. That has led him to become more like the well-intentioned hero he is in other DC Universe incarnations.
Walker said for the transformation to work, it was important to know how Dick Grayson made the transition from Robin to Nightwing. "It started out where we met him in Episode 1 of the show, and he's in exile from his dysfunctional relationships with [Bruce Wayne], and he's really ambivalent about being Robin at all," he said. "At one point, he burns the [Robin] suit! He has a real complicated relationship with the suit. So... it's such a big deal [Dick] becoming Nightwing, and we didn't just want him to show up with the suit. It had to be a representation of where he evolved as a character over the course of those two seasons."
Titans features the first live-action depiction of Dick becoming Nightwing, and fan anticipation has been high for the reveal -- something Walker admits he encountered in person. "A lot of fans just wanted him in the suit," he said. "I got stopped on the streets in Canada [where the series films]. 'When is he going to be Nightwing?' And we always felt he needed to. Season 2 is this journey where he recognizes what mistakes he made in the past, assessing himself, trying to figure out his relationship with Bruce and then evolving past Robin. Because if he's not Robin anymore, then who is he?
"We wanted it to be a path towards Nightwing... and so he goes on this atonement journey for the last third of the season, trying to figure out who he is and what his relationship to heroism is and what his relationship to the other Titans is. We wanted Nightwing to be the terminus of the journey. If you've seen episode 11 ["E.L._.O."] where he has the seminal showdown of the Bruce Wayne in his mind, he's gotten to the point where he's figured out that evolution colors that... and those ideas converge in the Nightwing suit. That's kind of what we were going for the whole time. We felt like we needed to take him there on a character level rather than just one day showing up and going, 'Hey, awesome suit, right?'"
Streaming now on DC Universe, Titans Season 2 stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson, Anna Diop as Kory Anders, Teagan Croft as Rachel Roth, Ryan Potter as Garfield Logan, Curran Walters as Jason Todd and Conor Leslie as Donna Troy, with Minka Kelly as Dawn Granger, Alan Ritchson as Hank Hall, Joshua Orpin as Superboy, Chelsea Zhang as Rose Wilson, Chella Man as Jericho, Drew Van Acker as Aqualad, Esai Morales as Deathstroke and Iain Glen as Bruce Wayne.