Greg Berlanti’s next project is a TITANS TV show for the new over-the-top streaming service DC Comics plans to release next year. Over the last couple of weeks, the cast has started to be announced.
The Titans are the grown up iteration of the Teen Titans, the group of teenage sidekicks that debuted in the 1960s. The first comic book to bear the name TITANS and feature the members of the team as young adults came out in 1999.
The show likely won’t feature the original Teen Titans team –Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Wonder Girl and Speedy (especially since Kid Flash and Speedy have already been featured on a Berlanti show). Instead, we’re seeing later additions to the team as part of the cast.
Let’s take a look at what has been made public so far:
Dick Grayson/Robin/Nightwing – Brenton Thwaites
The leader and heart of the Titans, most of Dick Grayson’s comic book growth has come in the various Titans series and not in the Batman books where he debuted. From changing his costume and codename to a serious relationship with Starfire, Grayson grew up with the team.
An Australian actor, the 28-year-old Thwaites will likely have to anchor the show. He’s had parts in Maleficent, as Prince Phillip, and as Henry Turner in the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean film. Most of the announcements of Thwaites’ role have just called him Dick Grayson, and it’s unclear if he’ll start off as Robin and become Nightwing, or if the show will begin with Grayson in his older persona. I assume he’ll be featured as Nightwing, but we’ll probably get an official announcement at some point.
Princess Koriand’r/Starfire – Anna Diop
Starfire was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in 1980 and has been closely associated with Titans all the way up to the New 52 reboot in 2011, which rewrote much of the character’s history – though she’s been restored to a member of the Teen Titans in the Rebirth era. She’s an exiled princess from the planet Tamaran who fled to Earth. She was also engaged to Dick Grayson for a while, though the marriage never happened.
The 29-year-old Diop has been very active over the last few years, starring in 24: Legacy as Nicole Carter and as Rose Arvale in the CW’s The Messengers. Diop recently received a ringing endorsement from Wolfman on Twitter:
And we have our Starfire. Two thumbs way up!… https://t.co/rxxngH8w2j
— Marv Wolfman (@marvwolfman) August 24, 2017
That’s a pretty good way to kick off your time as an iconic character.
Raven – Teagan Croft
Another character created by Wolfman and Perez as part of the New Teen Titans in 1980, Raven is the catalyst for one of the most iconic Titans villains. Raven is the daughter of the demon Trigon from an alternate dimension called Azarath. Raven helped to reform the Teen Titans when she learned her father was trying to invade Earth. Her inclusion in the new Titans series should indicate a confrontation with the forces of Trigon, which should lead to an epic story.
The character will be played by Teagan Croft, who doesn’t have a very long track record in TV or films, with only two other acting credits on her resume.
Hawk/Hank Hall – Alan Ritchson
Hank Hall and his brother Don were created by Steve Ditko and Steve Skeates in 1968, as the team of Hawk and Dove. The original concept of the duo was a play on the political divide of the 1960s, as Hank was militant while Don was a pacifist. Hawk has also been portrayed as an agent of Chaos, countered by Dove, an agent of order. The character would eventually be revealed as the villainous Monarch in the Armageddon 2001 miniseries in 1991 and then Extant in 1994.
His portrayer, Alan Ritchson, is no stranger to superheroes. Ritchson threw on the orange and the green as Aquaman in Smallville (and did Aquaman’s voice in the animated feature Justice League: The New Frontier).
Dove/Dawn Granger – Minka Kelly
Dawn Granger was created to replace Don Hall after the first Dove was killed during Crisis on Infinite Earths. The second Dove was created by Karl and Barbara Kesel in 1988. She was introduced as a Washington DC police officer who gained her powers while trying to save her mother from terrorists.
Dawn’s portrayer, Minka Kelly, is probably the series’ biggest name announced to date. The actress gained notoriety in the Friday Night Lights TV series from 2006-2009 and then in the first season of the TV series Parenthood. The 37-year-old actress is the daughter of Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay and an exotic dancer.
There are still a lot of Titans that could be added to the show, but these five are a good start. More important will be the villains. Unfortunately, Greg Berlanti’s CW shows have snagged a couple of usual Titan villains already, with Deathstroke and Brother Blood appearing on Arrow. That doesn’t preclude them from appearing on Titans, but it’s unlikely.
It will be interesting to see what other news comes out about the show as we approach next month’s New York Comic Con.