Superhero stories have seen a resurgence on television – in addition to the big screen – with each of the broadcast networks trying their hand at various properties. The CW’s DC TV universe is continuing to expand, while ABC has two successful Marvel-based shows and CBS recently premiered Supergirl. Non-superhero comic book properties like The Walking Dead have also opened the door to other kinds of adaptations like Fox’s Gotham, NBC’s short-lived Constantine, and planned series including Fox’s Lucifer, AMC’s Preacher, FX’s Legion and TNT’s Titans.
When it was announced that TNT was developing a live-action series based on the younger group of DC Comics heroes Teen Titans, titled Titans, it seemed in line with the ongoing trend of superhero television. However, now it has been announced the network will no longer be moving forward with their planned Titans series.
Deadline is reporting that TNT president Kevin Reilly made the announcement at the network’s Television Critics Association winter press tour event; he explained the decision: “We decided it wasn’t where we wanted to go.” The pilot script was penned by Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman and studio executive-turned-screenwriter Marc Haimes, who would’ve also served as producer.
Last we heard about the pilot for Titans – which was rumored to have a title change to Blackbirds – it was supposed to film summer 2015 with casting details arriving sometime before then. Previous rumors about the show’s roster claimed it would star Dick Grayson a.k.a. Robin/Nightwing, Barbara Gordon a.k.a. Oracle, Hawk & Dove, Raven a.k.a. Rachel Roth, and Starfire. However at TNT’s Upfronts in Spring 2015, Reilly said Goldsman was “very busy doing some other things” and he hoped to nail down castings and begin production that summer.
Though Goldsman had other projects in the works at the time of Reilly’s statements, one of the biggest was his deal with Paramount to helm the studio’s Transformers cinematic universe writers’ room. Around that same time – Summer 2015 – Haimes also landed a gig separate from Titans, as he was attached to pen the script for Fox Animation’s adaptation of graphic novel Nimona. Goldsman has since also been reported to be leading the writers’ room for Paramount’s newest universe endeavor based on multiple Hasbro properties – including, G.I. Joe and Micronauts.
All this is to say it seems the Titans live-action series at TNT may have stalled out around mid-2015, but now we have official confirmation. Given the lack of information about the pilot and the series in general, along with the fact that the only two names attached to the show were moving on to other projects, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Additionally, the two drama series TNT has in the works, Good Behavior and Animal Kingdom, indicate a much more adult direction for the network that it seems Titans didn’t fit into.
But that being said, fans hoping to see a live-action take on Teen Titans are sure to be disappointed by TNT’s decision to officially end development of the series. Certainly, the comic book source material for Teen Titans could have allowed for a grounded, dramatic superhero series. However, with Goldsman and Haimes working elsewhere – though they could potentially have more time in the future – and the possibility of the series conflicting with other DC Comics properties both on television and in film, it’s difficult to see Titans moving forward in the near future, even at another network.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information on Titans as it becomes available.