Now at the moment all that seems to be coming out is information on upcoming DC TV shows, in this case Titans, and all that I seem to be doing in response is writing about why they won’t work but this is usually because DC have only announced the bare bones of the show which makes it difficult to get behind an idea. For a while now there have been rumours floating around the internet about a live action Teen Titans TV series going into production on the American network TNT(Falling skies, Perception,Legends) and it appears that the show will in fact be doing just that, at least to the pilot stage. The fact was recently confirmed in a tweet by DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns indicating that the Titans show will be shooting its pilot at some point in 2015, most likely for a late summer/autumn release of the actual series, assuming it tests well and is picked up.
The Teen Titans TV series, simplified to just Titans, will reportedly center around the former sidekick to Batman Dick Grayson as he assembles a team of younger, generally less known heroes, many also former sidekicks, to fight against whatever troubles arise that would require the powers/skills of a team. The show will reportedly also have the Titans all be considerably older than normal, mostly likely around the mid 20’s mark, this will be to introduce more adult themes that wouldn’t work with teens. As most people will know after Dick Grayson grows up he leaves behind the mantle of Robin and the shadow of Batman to become Nightwing in a new city, Bludhaven, and he becomes a superhero in his own right. Many of the other Titans also did the same branching out on their own and the show would give a great platform to show how the younger sidekicks are just as good as their older mentor versions.
The Teen Titans started out in The Brave and the Bold issue #54 (1964) and first came under the collective title of ‘Teen Titans’ in issue #60. The teams’ throughout the years have varied both in name and members’. While there have been many incarnations of the team, lead by different leaders, such as Arsenal and Atom and containing almost countless members. Possibly the most widely generally known ones are:
Original Team: Robin(Dick Grayson), Kid Flash, Aqualad, Wonder Girl, Speedy(Red Arrow) 1960’s-70’s
New Teen Titans: Beast Boy, Raven, Starfire, Cyborg,Robin(Jason Todd) 1980’s-90’s
New 52: Red Robin(Tim Drake) Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Superboy, Beast Boy, Raven 2000’s-now
While at the moment there has been very little official news on which Titans, beyond Nightwing, will actually be cast in the series the entire concept of the show before it even starts almost completely collapses in on itself. We know that Nightwing is going to be the central character on who the show will center around however this probably is in fact one of the biggest problem the show faces.
Dick Grayson is only able to become Nightwing because he was trained by and spent years fighting alongside Batman however since there is absolutely no way that the show will be allowed to contain Batman himself or even Bruce Wayne it will be near impossible to give Nightwing any real film-able and hence show-able origins. In order to have Nightwing you simply have to have Batman at least in passing mention or conversations, the show may even have to negotiate hard to even get the permission to do that, which they honestly may not be allowed to. This would mean the writers will constantly have to skirt his back-story which makes it incredibly difficult to make him a full and well rounded character. Dick Grayson does move away to step out from the shadow of Batman but all of his training, skills and experience comes from him which makes it even harder to not talk about him. The upcoming Batman vs Superman movie and current Gotham TV series also means the writers would not be able to use any of Batman’s rogue’s gallery and would have to avoid any Bat-lore of any kind as the majority of Bat-Characters licences will be tied up with them . The writers would have to have the Titans fighting villains that Nightwing would never have come across whilst in Gotham and also most probably avoid any characters that either the B vs S movie or Gotham would want, given they are already established and Bat-centric so would get first pick.
The massive issues with having Nightwing but no Batman are merely the start of the problems the shows creators will face. Well known characters such as Aqualad, Kid Flash and Wonder Girl will be very unlikely to appear in the show given the fact they are in the exact same position as Nightwing, requiring a mentor that the show would again not be allowed to include or perhaps even mention (Aquaman, The Flash, Wonder Woman).
Yeah and you thought AquaMAN was uncool….
The character of Cyborg, given that he is going to be involved in the DC cinematic universe, will not be Involved in the show as DC don’t seem to currently want 2 versions of their characters at the same time at least for the moment.(Given The Flash series’ Grant Gustin’s Flash will most probably still be running when we first see Ezra Miller’s version it will have to happen eventually) Some other very well know Titans are Starfire, who they could feasibly include but given her complicated alien origins could be tricky and Raven but given the fact the she is half demon and generally involved in matters of magic it would again be difficult to write in easily. Now these are just some of the more well know Titans however the list of Titans is very long and the writers could easily pick some of the lesser known ones. Some can be seen here.
As far as stories go it is very difficult to presently say what could or could not work given the fact it obviously depends on which characters they choose/are able to include, as having a lot of unknown characters will mean writing a fair amount of back-story episodes. The overall tone the writers pick for the show if done wrong will drastically effect the show but given the length of time the comic has run for and some of the great stories the Titans have had it should not be very difficult for the writers to be able to create some amazing new story lines with the appropriate tone whilst hopefully drawing heavily from the comics.
It is worthwhile noting that the CW’s president Mark Pedowitz has indicated that he would be interested in having a crossover with the Titans & The Flash/Arrow-verse.
The fact that this has even been hinted at, especially by the president of the CW, means that it may in fact have some basis in truth and for Titans may be a great option. By linking the 2 worlds and containing them in the same universe it would to an extent decide the tone of the show for the writers and allow them to focus more on the story and character aspects right away. It may also be a chance for Colton Haynes woefully under used Arsenal to move to a show, even temporarily where he would be treated more as part of a team rather than a sidekick like on Arrow.. Combining the 2 worlds would also make for spectacular cross-over events and would truly be like a TV justice league. Even with minimal crossover it would extend the DC TV Universe, which can only be a good thing for all the shows to feel like they are truly all 1 world. However combining more and more DC TV shows also throws up an equal number of problems, something I will addressing in the next few weeks here.(keep checking back if the link isn’t live yet.)
While at the moment with the sparse information I don’t see it being able to work there is nothing more I would like to see than it to work and do well, Nightwing is a fantastic character and he deserves to have his own amazing show.(an example of how good he can be on his own can be seen here in Nightwing: The series, a fan made amazing series)
So does the Titans show have a chance? Does the fact that it pretty much crumbles under it’s own weight as far as character development and back story just make it too difficult to do well? Who would you like to see them include in the team line-up? Let us know your thoughts on everything to do with the upcoming Titans show as we would love to hear them.