It’s been in development hell for what seems like a lifetime now, but Titans, the live-action version of Teen Titans, is finally coming in 2018. Helmed by the formidable team of Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti, and Sarah Schechter, this is one show that DC fans are looking forward to seeing more than most.
While we’ve all heard about the latest casting news, there are still a lot of questions around which era(s) the storylines will be influenced by and if Brenton Thwaite’s Dick Grayson will be Robin or Nightwing.
Perhaps more importantly, is there the possibility of Manu Bennett reprising his role as Deathstroke here? (If any big decision-makers at Warner Bros. are reading this, please make this happen and fill our little hearts with joy.)
Deciding to lift the veil of secrecy on this project, we’ve uncovered some interesting Titans facts that you might not be aware of. Naturally, as the show is still in production, some of these points are subject to change, so do keep that in mind while reading.
With that out of the way, here we go… or more like “Titans, go!” Here are the 15 Things You Need To Know About The Titans TV Show.
15. Acolyte Will Be The First Main Villain
Even though our hearts yearn for Deathstroke and Brother Blood all day and every day, it looks like the showrunners are taking a calculated and cautious approach by introducing Acolyte as the first main villain.
If you’re unfamiliar with the character, he first debuted in Young Justice #9 in 1999. While he has the appearance of a devil, can hypnotize his victims, and is supposedly immortal, he’s revealed to actually be a fraudster in the comics. He’s still at large in the DC universe, but he’s not exactly what you’d consider an A-list villain by any stretch of the imagination.
14. Titans Could Crossover With The Arrowverse
Despite DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns’ insistence that Titans will be an entirely different universe, it remains to be seen to be believed. Let’s say the streaming service doesn’t work out, but the fans love the show – what next? With Berlanti’s ties to The CW, it’s more than likely that the show could end up on the network.
Also, what about characters like Deathstroke? Arrow has Manu Bennett and DCEU has Joe Manganiello, so will this show really introduce a third live-action Slade Wilson into the mix? Because, let’s be clear here: Deathstroke will have to appear at some point – that’s a non-negotiable when it comes to the Titans and their greatest foe.
13. Alan Ritchson Played Aquaman In Smallville
While Alan Ritchson is better known for portraying Thad Castle on Blue Mountain State and his recent run as Arthur Bailey on Blood Drive, he has history with DC TV, having played Arthur Curry/Aquaman on Smallville.
He only appeared in a handful of episodes, but he certainly looked more like a traditional Aquaman than Jason Momoa does. Whether this is a good or bad thing, though, depends on your stance of the original seahorse-riding Atlantean.
Having also voiced and provided the motion capture for Raphael in the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies, one could consider his latest role as Hawk as a slight step down from the other heroes he has portrayed in the past– Hawk isn’t a terrible character, but is he even in the same league as Aquaman and Raphael?
12. VFX Will Be Used For Starfire
By now, we should’ve all finished laughing at the idiots who were upset that a person of color was portraying an orange alien. It’s probably best to let these same Neanderthals know that Anna Diop doesn’t actually possess the ability to fly or emit energy beams from her body, either.
As revealed on Diop’s Twitter account, Starfire will utilize the magic of visual effects. While it’s still unclear the actual extent of the special effects that will be used, it’s safe to assume it’ll have to be on a large scale — considering the nature of Koriand’r’s powers.
The only other character who’s likely to require more special effects than Starfire is the shape-shifting Beast Boy. Bearing in mind that this is an expensive and time-consuming exercise, we wonder just how much the producers will be willing to spend here.
11. Dick Grayson Will Be Based On The “Officer Grayson” Storyline
Even though he’s got Bruce Wayne’s fortune to fall back on, Dick Grayson hasn’t gone down the path of a couch potato, choosing to work a variety of jobs over the years. One of his most famous career paths was when he joined the Blüdhaven Police Department and decided to rid crime from within the system.
As Officer Grayson, many interesting stories and dilemmas were explored, such as Grayson’s dual role of upholding the law while also being a vigilante. As confirmed by the casting notice for Titans lead “John Crossland” and the reference to Amy Rohrbach being his partner, Grayson will be a cop in the show.
10. Ryan Potter Campaigned To Portray Tim Drake In The DCEU
It’s not uncommon for actors to campaign for roles nowadays. Look, at Tyrese Gibson who has lobbied so hard to play John Stewart/Green Lantern. So it should come as no surprise that Ryan Potter eyed another role in the DCEU before being cast as Garfield Logan/Beast Boy.
When news of The Batman first broke, Potter made a short flick showing Ben Affleck why he should be cast as Tim Drake/Robin. In the clip, Potter shows off his impressive fighting skills as a trained martial artist. After the fight’s over, the Big Hero 6 actor sits down in front of the camera and says, “Hey Ben, like Tim said, Batman needs a Robin.”
9. Roy Harper Is Likely To Cameo
A Titans character breakdown reveals the possibility of Roy Harper/Arsenal appearing on the show: “[Daniel Cross] Male, 17-19, Caucasian. Athletic, street smart, cocky, yet charming. His life is changed forever when he crosses a crime fighter and is given a new outlet for his rebellious ways. Recurring Guest Star.” Sounds a lot like a certain red archer, doesn’t it?
The next question is, could Colton Haynes reprise his role as Harper here? The casting call does ask for a younger actor and it’s different networks and all that jazz, but look at how Supergirl crossed over with the Arrowverse when the show was still on CBS.
8. The Flying Graysons To Make An Appearance
Undoubtedly, the series will explore the history of its lead character, Dick Grayson, and part of it will inevitably revolve around his acrobatic family, aka the Flying Graysons.
While we’re yet to find out if their murders will follow canon, we do know the characters will appear in what we presume to be flashbacks, thanks to the show’s casting calls.
Additionally, Omega Underground uncovered an audition tape of Canadian actor Tim Campbell reading for the role of “Ben Crossland,” who is the father of John Crossland (Dick Grayson). The test script is tweaked to show the family as singers instead of acrobats, but that certainly sounds like something to put the internet bloodhounds off their trail.
7. Brad Anderson Will Direct The Pilot
It’s all good that the actors have been cast and pilot script written, but who’s directing the show? Well, according to Heroic Hollywood, that honor will belong to veteran film and TV director Brad Anderson.
Anderson is no slouch or newbie, having spent decades working on shows like The Wire, Treme, The Man in the High Castle, as well as multiple episodes of Fringe. Apart from that, he’s also helmed notable films such as The Machinist and The Call, which starred Christian Bale and Halle Berry respectively.
6. Detective Amy Rohrbach Will Be Dick Grayson’s Partner
As we now know that the series will be inspired by the arc where Dick Grayson is a police officer – presumably in the Blüdhaven Police Department – we also have confirmation that Lindsey Gort has been cast as his partner, Detective Amy Rohrbach.
In the comic books, Rohrbach is portrayed as one of the only honest cops in the force and makes herself a valuable ally to Grayson. Considering Titans’ format, it’ll be interesting to see if the showrunners build up some form of romantic tension between her and Grayson, or even form a love triangle with the two and Starfire.
Speculation aside, it’s heartening to see that characters and arcs are being pulled and embraced from Grayson’s rich history and not just ignored, like so many other superhero shows are guilty of doing.
5. Titans Will Premiere On DC’s New Streaming Service
Everyone is jumping on the streaming bandwagon, and DC refuses to get left behind here. It was in April of this year that the comic book giant announced that Titans, as well as season three of Young Justice, would be dropping in 2018.
Rather than partner up with another network, though, DC announced that these shows will air on its own direct-to-consumer digital platform. While details of the service are sketchy at the moment, it’s expected to offer more than a traditional OTT service and encompass comics as well as TV series.
That said, with so many streaming services around, you can’t deny that this is a big gamble on DC’s part. If it’s successful, however, it’ll allow the company to be in complete control of its own content and set the rules.
4. The First Season Will Consist Of 13 Episodes
While the bulk of the Arrowverse shows may boast over 20 episodes per season, it’s fair to say that half of those episodes are generally rubbish and could’ve been cut out completely. So, following the Marvel Netflix model instead, the first season of Titans will be 13 episodes in total.
It makes sense from a cost perspective and also allows for a tighter and focused storyline. There’s no point in having 20 episodes per season if the characters are going to spend half the time in flashbacks and the writers need to produce occasional fillers (looking at you, The Walking Dead).
Additionally, these 13 episodes will act as a decent barometer. If the reception towards the series is good, a second season is a given. If not, everyone can move on without crying over too many dollars lost.
3. The Walking Dead’s Katelyn Nacon Wants To Portray Raven
The role of Raven was a coveted one and it was secured by Australian actress Teagan Croft, who was announced as the first cast member of the series. One actress who wanted the part badly, though, was The Walking Dead’s Katelyn Nacon, who plays Enid on the AMC show.
Speaking to Screen Rant, Nacon expressed her love for the character and disappointment on missing out on the role. She said: “I know, oh my gosh, no, Raven, that’s who I always wanted to play. It was Raven and I missed my chance.”
2. Titans Will Be A Revision Of TNT’s Failed Pilot
Back in 2014, TNT announced that it would be producing a Teen Titans live-action adaptation called Titans, with a pilot written by Akiva Goldsman and Marc Haimes. The series was set to star Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, Oracle, Hawk, and Dove as its main characters.
However, it wasn’t too long before the show changed its name from Titans to Blackbirds (pretty stupid, if you ask us), and then got canceled by the end of the year.
Considering the fact that Goldsman is still involved in the project and the only main character change is Beast Boy replacing Oracle, it’s easy to see that this is a revision of the planned TNT show. Whether this is a good thing or not is still to be seen, but with DC’s backing, it appears like TNT lost out on a potential winner all those years ago.
1. Alan Ritchson Teased That He Is Playing Shazam
In an epic event of trolling that’s reminiscent to Armie Hammer and those never-ending Green Lantern rumors, Alan Ritchson pulled a fast one on fans, teasing that he was playing Shazam.
The story started over a year ago when a fan tweeted Ritchson and asked him if he was portraying Shazam. Ritchson confirmed it with a “yup,” which led to the internet going wild and making up its own conclusions about the project.
The rumor picked up steam once more when another fan tweeted a picture of DC’s new stock artwork and mentioned the uncanny resemblance between the original Captain Marvel and Ritchson.
Obviously, the Blue Mountain State actor had his fun with it as well, refusing to deny any claims. As we all know by now, though, is that the role went to Chuck star Zachary Levi.
Are there any other interesting facts about Titans TV show that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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