When The Flash made its move from Arrow spinoff to certified solo hit, networks quickly lined up to make the most of the rush of DC Comics adaptations. Fox had Gotham, NBC sought Constantine (leading to some troubles), CBS lined up Supergirl and, perhaps most surprisingly, word arrived that Warner Bros. subsidiary TNT was working on a TV version of the youngster "Teen Titans."
Compared to the rest of the superhero TV show crop, there has been surprisingly little revealed about Titans since the initial confirmation. We've had our suspicions that plans for a shared WB/DC TV universe may be partly to blame for the secrecy, but now comes word that the pilot episode will move into production soon - and may do so with a new title.
That's according to SeasonZero, claiming that the name change to 'Blackbirds' has been made ahead of production on (possibly for) the pilot, scheduled to begin this summer. While no source for the information is given, the timeline at least fits with what has been reported before, and confirmed by DC's Geoff Johns.
Despite the lack of any confirmed or even rumored cast members, the fact that production is apparently going to be ramping up in the next several weeks (months, at most) has made it seem likely that the first official details or possible cast would be revealed at TNT's media upfronts, scheduled for May 15.
The most hotly anticipated role in the series is undoubtedly Dick Grayson a.k.a. Nightwing a.k.a. Robin the Boy Wonder (a.k.a. Batman's former sidekick). Despite the assumptions about the Dark Knight being off-limits for DC's TV universe, the very first reports of Titans even existing named Grayson as the lead, and his connections to Batman have remained intact in the character rumors since.
The only actor previously mentioned as a possible contender for the role (among CW's stable, no less) was Vampire Diaries' Steven R. McQueen - though his name being thrown in the ring was his own doing, not the network's. He wouldn't be the first supporting actor in Warner Bros.' TV family to land the spotlight elsewhere, but comic fans (and enthusiastic viewers of CW's Flash/Arrow universe) may not have to wonder for long.
If this Titans truly is Dick Grayson's show, then it would be surprising to see another cast member named first.
As for the name change... well, the only possible explanation is an effort to distinguish this team of superheroes from the Teen Titans that younger audiences may know from DC's animated universe. It may seem an odd choice, considering the decades of comic history surrounding the team (a youth group, of sorts, for the younger generation of DC superheroes), but it was the same thinking behind the Young Justice re-brand: the team and show wasn't just for kids anymore.
If Blackbirds is going to be targeting the same audience as Arrow or The Flash, then yet another re-branding could seem fitting. It's not even been officially confirmed that Titans was going to be an origin story of the team's very beginnings - if not, then perhaps the name change from 'Titans' to 'Blackbirds' could take place in the show's universe, as well as our own. At this point, almost anything is possible.
We'll keep you updated as more information is leaked or released. For now, what do you think of the name change? Would you be disappointed to see the 'Titans' name passed over, or are you more interested in the characters, cast, and story?
Titans - or Blackbirds - will begin filming this summer.