The Justice League’s youth wing gets its own TV show in DC’s Titans
Imagine a Robin who swears and shoots perps in the head – that’s this DC TV series.
If you saw the trailer for the upcoming Titans TV series, you’ll know Robin drops the F-bomb while dispatching a squad of goons. Set to launch this month on the newly launched DC Universe, DC’s very own streaming service, this grittier, live-action incarnation of the team clearly decimates the whimsical nature of the animated Teen Titans Go! series.
Titans sees Robin/Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), Raven/Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft), Starfire/Koriand’r (Anna Diop) and Beast Boy/ Gar Logan (Ryan Potter) assembling to defeat a growing evil that threatens not only one of their own, but the entire world.
“With the first season being all about Rachel, the series already leans into the horror element, and darkness and inner darkness; Rachel dealing with a literal darkness and Dick dealing with a literal darkness that’s been cultivated during his time with Batman,” says DC Entertainment chief creative officer Geoff Johns, who also acts as writer and executive producer on the show. “People, in time, come to understand the context of that line and the reason behind that line. There’s a story there definitely worth telling. Right away, you go, ‘Why would he ever have this attitude?’
“This is a period of darkness for all of these characters,” he continues. “Every one of them is lost. Every one of these characters is struggling to find out who they are. They will only be able to do that with one another’s help. Picking up Robin when he’s in a real dark place, when he’s left Batman, gave us a story we really wanted to tell in conjunction with Rachel’s story.”
Titans’ debut taps into Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s classic ’80s comic book run.
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Each episode introduces another hero as the group comes together. Hawk (Alan Ritchson) and Dove (Minka Kelly) enter the picture fairly quickly. Donna Troy (Conor Leslie) joins later on. These flawed individuals are anything but a well-oiled machine in the beginning.
“They aren’t a team at all when we meet them,” says Johns. “We are meeting Dick Grayson after he’s left Gotham and tried to leave Robin behind, for reasons we’ll find out in the series. We meet Rachel when she’s starting to discover her abilities more and more. Eventually, we’ll meet Kory (Starfire) and Gar in their situations. But they are very separate when we first meet them. Their relationships evolve and change over the course of the season.
“Expect both the expected and the unexpected,” Johns adds. “One of the things that Batman line did so well was make you sit up and go, ‘Wait. What is this?’ in a positive and negative way. It wasn’t what people expected. They’re going to be surprised how that plays out. I love the Titans. We really wanted to create a series that captured the spirit of it, but do it in our way, too, like Marv and George did. And also celebrate the characters for who they are. It’s true to the lore in many, many ways, but we do have some twists and turns that we’ve taken so that it’s going to surprise people. Hopefully, in a way that really engages them.”
Titans debuts on DC Universe in the US on 12 October. UK broadcast is TBC.
Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly as Hawk and Dove.