TNT's Titans Aims to be 'Very True' to 'Groundbreaking' Superhero Property

TNT Titans Robin Nightwing

Recently installed TNT president Kevin Reilly knows he has something special in a live-action adaptation of the Teen Titans superhero property, and as such, patience is a virtue.

Announced back in September, not much has been officially confirmed about the pilot, which follows a group of young superheroes led by Dick Grayson aka Batman’s sidekick Robin, who is fated to become Nightwing. Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) penned the pilot with Marc Haimes, and Nerdist.com has reported that the titular team will also include Barbara Gordon, Hawk/Hank Hall and Dove/Dawn Granger, Raven/Rachel Roth and the alien princess Starfire.

Asked for a status report on the project, Reilly told TVLine at TNT’s Upfronts luncheon, “Akiva’s been very busy doing some other things,” but it’s his hope that “maybe this summer” they will lock casting and ramp up production.

After all, the small screen hardly has been lacking for comic books-based fare. So there is a concerted effort for TNT to take its time and make this series unique.

“I sat down with Akiva and said — and he ultimately agreed — that the [TV] landscape right now is well-serviced on the superhero front. So what space is this going to inhabit?” Reilly related. “And really what he wants to do is be very true” to the source material.

As Reilly noted, Teen Titans “was a groundbreaking property when it first started,” so there is an opportunity here to set the TNT pilot — to either be titled Titans or Blackbirds, based on which rumor you subscribe to — apart from the ever-growing superhero pack. “There were consequences to things that happened; it wasn’t somebody died and they moved on. There was the first superhero to be an addict [in Roy Harper’s Speedy]. It’s a coming-of-age story for Robin, who feels like Batman has betrayed him.”

Once the project ultimately comes to fruition, Reilly says, “I think it’s going to end up being a very, very interesting offering. I think it’s going to be excellent.”

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60 Comments
  1. Goldsman also wrote Batman & Robin, so I’m torn, lol.

  2. Drew says:

    We need a definitive answer as to whether or not all of these DC properties exist in the same universe. Most of them are produced by the same people, so do they co-exist at all? I wouldn’t have thought that Constantine and Arrow existed in the same universe, but then we have rumors about him showing up at some point. So, does this series co-exist with the CW shows? Could Roy actually show up there at some point?

    • Luis says:

      Cross-network promotion is a rare, if not unprecedented phenomenon in TV. CBS has already put the kibosh on any kind of crossover between “Supergirl” and the C.W. shows. Its unlikely TNT would want to promote other networks’ shows in the context of one of their original properties.

      • Danny Mac says:

        You guys are forgetting something..
        Time Warner owns TNT, CBS and The CW. So yes, Supergirl, Flash, Arrow and Titans can all cross over. It’s the same company.

      • BBussey says:

        No, CBS has not put the kabosh on a Supergirl/CW crossover. All they have said is that for the time being they are going to concentrate on establishing their show on its own merits. Berlanti has said the same thing. It’s in Berlanti’s contract that Supergirl can crossover with the CW shows, but they are looking at that to occur after this season.

        • Danny Mac says:

          Like I said. Time Warner owns TNT, CBS and The CW. So yes, Supergirl, Flash, Arrow and Titans can all cross over. It’s the same company.

          Supergirl wants to see if it can survive a season on its own before needing a crossover. If one happens.. Flash would be the first to appear is my bet

          • Vlada Gelman says:

            CBS Corp. owns CBS, not Time Warner. But CBS Corp. and Time Warner do share ownership of The CW.

          • SteveO says:

            TITANS should be on its own universe.

            ARROW has used two out of three of the Titans’ good villains. One of them is dead and the other is played by an actor who is unlikely to show up on a new show. It also looks like ARROW is gearing up to re-tool one of the Titans’ major second-string villains for next year.

            Not to mention that an important Titans member is a now-departed supporting character on ARROW (again, played by an actor who is unlikely to sign on to reprise his role on this show).

            If TITANS happens, it deserves a chance to establish it’s own Brother Blood, it’a own H.I.VE. and Damien Dahrk, it’s own Roy Harper, and *certainly* its own Deathstroke, the Terminator.

          • Drew says:

            Odds are, DC wouldn’t want a bunch of different versions of the same characters running around TV. It’s bad enough that they’re doubling up on a ton of characters in the movies.

        • S says:

          There is no such thing in Berlanti’s contract

    • Shazay says:

      I dont need a definitive answer…I just need to know its going to be good. Keep them all separate, I dont care, I just want them to be good. Weird that Barbara is involved, and no Donna. I get that Wally cant be involved, but if you can involve an alien princess and a demon spawn, you can work in an Amazon princess. I’d rather see Donna than Barbara or Dawn.

    • One rumor claimed that Colton Haynes is moving from Arrow to Titans — but given how far this clearly is, I wouldn’t give that too much credit.

    • tabularasalocke says:

      The Constantine rumor was started by Stephen Amell, who wanted Constantine to come on Arrow after Constantine was canceled. There are no actual plans for the crossover.

      • Adrian says:

        Now there actually WAS a crossover considering that Constantine was cancelled and they both share the same studio. Unfortunately its a one time ordeal due to copyright. But im looking forward to Titans. But no, Arrows Roy Harper wont be the same teen wolf Roy. Maybe Supergirl will be in there.

  3. Slowride says:

    So excited for this ! I really hope Steven R. McQueen is gonna play Nightwing !

    • Danny Mac says:

      Me too.

      Although I’d prefer Ian/Damon to play him. He looks like Nightwing.

      • Slowride says:

        I used to love Ian but he kinda lost me as a fan when he chose to try and look younger at all cost… His face doesn’t look so natural anymore and that doesn’t do it for me… Also I feel Steven deserve to have a role that allows him to play other things than sulky teenager or sulky and drunk young adult !

    • S says:

      Lets stay away from Vampire Diaries cast members please

  4. The Kaibosh says:

    Hearing that they want to stay true to source material is very encouraging. If this is the case then they need to stay as far away as possible from anything related to the CW because they treat source material like toilet paper.

    • Danny Mac says:

      Do you even watch The Flash?

      Apparently not. They are very VERY true and faithful to the source material.

      Also read Green Arrow Year One to get an idea of the tv show.

      • The Kaibosh says:

        I don’t watch the Flash anymore but we both know it takes its share of liberties. I continue to keep up with Arrow but that’s only because its an unabashed Batman show and what more can be said about Smallville except that it was travesty that gave the middle finger to real Superman fans around the world.

        • S says:

          Flash is much more close to the source materials than any previous live action comic series.. It is impossible to be 100% faithful… different mediums and all.

          • The Kaibosh says:

            Not good enough, and the medium is irrelevant. You’re either faithful to the story or you’re not.

          • S says:

            Yes the medium is important.. You cant 100% translate a book into a tv show or a movie.. its just different. You always have to change some thing.. name one adaption that was faithful enough for your tastes?

          • LK says:

            This one isnt going to stay that close to the source material either.. with this lineup.. Hawk & Dove? The Rachel Roth version of Raven? Barbara?

          • The Kaibosh says:

            Daredevil. That’s how you do a comic book show.

        • Isobel says:

          Daredevil is Netflix though, this is cable so they could go darker than CW but its still for the teens and twenties crowd who haven’t read the comics

  5. Danny Mac says:

    You guys are forgetting something..

    Time Warner owns TNT, CBS and The CW. So yes, Supergirl, Flash, Arrow and Titans can all cross over. It’s the same company.

    • S says:

      CBS is not owned by Time Warner. They share an owner with Viacom, which owns Paramount Pictures.. and thus are a competitor with TW… though they jointly own the CW as a result of the WB/UPN merger.

    • eric says:

      I dont know if you’re trolling, given that this is the 3rd time you’ve written that TW owns CBS.
      Maybe do abit of research, even Wikipedia will tell you that it’s not. While its a possibility that they can crossover considering Berlanti Production is producing, it’s a challenge to do so.
      Also, Turner owns TBS, whilst the CW is partly owned by Warner Bros TV. And whilst they are both subsidiaries of Time Warner – as someone who used to work for Turner, I know very well that they operate and distribute quite separately. However, in saying that, all DC properties are WB’s (DC’s parent company) to license, so unless we get confirmation from the executives themselves, its silly to make assumptions.

  6. Jeff hunter says:

    Thanks,Matt you really came thru for us’real-life Sheldon Cooper’.Thanks,jeff

  7. Luis says:

    What would be ground-breaking is if they had Starfire appear in anything approximating what she originally wore in the “Teen Titans” comics

  8. jc says:

    Ugh this is probabaly the only show most people care about and watch in droves from TNT and yet they are taking their sweet time with it.

    • S says:

      Better take their time and make something good than rush it to air and have it be terrible

    • Patrick says:

      They want to get it right. They’ve seen what shows like Walking Dead and Game of Thrones can achieve when they are done right. So they want to do it right.

    • Robert says:

      I totally agree! They kept pushing the production dates back, I could have accepted production starting in the summer but now they are talking about starting casting in the summer instead of production! So it looks like we will not see the series into next year😠😠😠 I also do not like their excuse about their is enough superhero shows on, so that gives them enough time to get theirs done right. There were several superhero shows already on when CBS and the CW decided to make 2 more for the fall of 2015 ,so if they could get theirs done why couldn’t TnT? Like you said many people including myself ,out of all the shows to be announced this was the show I as well as many others wanted to see the most.😔😔😔

  9. Boiler says:

    Why would anyone trust what he says after what he did to Fox. Plus don’t we have enough of these. Ah well the only show left after the dumb Perception cancellation I watch on TNT is R&I.

  10. LK says:

    I’d be more hopeful here if Akiva Goldsman wasnt the writer… his past with comic movies is as the writer of Batman Forever and Batman and Robin as well as the producer of Jonah Hex… not exactly a ringing endorsement.

  11. Erika says:

    I don’t know why I exited on Titans?I hope its true and fingers crossed on Titans.

  12. please..this is my favorite comic ever…and the one i’m most looking forward to. please do this one right….arrow’s great…flash is great…..but we NEED an awesome titans show. can’t friggin wait.

  13. Jon says:

    Interesting that they want to be true to the source material, a rarity in comic book adaptions these days (Flash being a notable exception)

  14. Ram510 says:

    I hope this series is like Daredevil where it’s dark but has blood and sex

  15. Joey Padron says:

    thanks for update on the show. can’t wait to see who they cast for the characters on the show.

  16. Drewer says:

    I’m probably the only person, but I would much rather have an Oracle/Nightwing etc show than Teen Titans, and I always think comic shows and movies suffer when they try to stick so closely to comic story lines. They are best when they are true to the characters, relationships, and often origin stories, but then branch of more in terms of plots.

  17. Kalli says:

    Here to remind everyone I’m open to playing Starfire!!

  18. Dana R. says:

    Really DC Entertainment and TNT? Blackbird instead of Titans?

    Hello Geoff Johns, Diane Nelson, Kevin Riley don’t you know that Blackbird is the name of the Jet the X-Men use??? You know the guys from the other comic book company!!!!!

    God, just when I thought my all time fav superheroteam the Titans would be in good hands, they don’t do their research at DC before naming a show???

    Epic failure!!! See, that you correct that ASAP!

  19. mike says:

    Hopefully Kory will be the nice Golden\copper type color and be wearing the super skimpy outfit she had in the early comics. Oh, and have Raven doing the Azeroth-Metrios-Zinthoss chant she did in the cartoon. Only decent part about that horrible show.

  20. Isaiah says:

    They could of picked somebody that wasn’t dove and hawk
    They could of had ma’s y memos or aqualad ,speedy, or kid flash, or static shock anybody but them

  21. Bo Ro Ho Mo Yo says:

    Please stop with the superhero tv shows.

  22. Niko De La Torre says:

    I would love to be a part of this project where do I sign up?

    • Niko De La Torre says:

      Dick Grayson is my all time favorite hero (even more than BATMAN) and it would be an honor to play him,I even have the Dark hair and very athletic so I’m open to do my own stunts as well.

  23. Darinbailey says:

    I would have to see it before make my mind up

  24. Darinbailey says:

    I can not wait for to to come on tv

  25. Caitlin says:

    Please please keep it as Titans, because it wouldn’t really recognizable. Blackbirds just sounds off to me.

  26. Darinbailey says:

    When will the pilot come on tv because wouled like to see it