Since the 1980s, the Teen Titans has been an iconic superhero team for comic book fans across the country. Taking the sidekicks of popular superheroes like Batman and The Flash, writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez created a series that resonated with readers at the time as it tackled themes like growing up, betrayal, and adversity. The initial line-up, consisting of Dick Grayson, Beast Boy, Raven, Starfire, Cyborg, Speedy, and Wonder Girl, amongst others, rivaled the Avengers and Justice League in popularity.
Bringing this fame to either the big screen or small screen has been a tough challenge for producers in Hollywood. Audiences may be familiar with the beloved 2003-2006 cartoon adaptation that aired on Cartoon Network and has since had its reputation tarnished by the spinoff Teen Titans Go! But the idea of a live action version has become increasingly intriguing to fans, especially with the surge in live action superhero programs across television, including Arrow, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Legion.
Thus, people rejoiced in 2014-2015 when it was announced the cable channel TNT would be producing a loose adaptation of sorts called Blackbirds, focusing on Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, Oracle, and Hawk & Dove. Unfortunately, things fell apart during the planning stage, though DC Comics President and CCO Geoff Johns promised big things for the property in January 2016. While it has taken over a year for something to come from that glimmer of hope, we finally have some major news: the show is back on track. Being developed under the guiding hands of Johns, Greg Berlanti, Akiva Goldsman, and Sarah Schechter, the official synopsis reads as follows.
“Titans follows a group of young soon-to-be Super Heroes recruited from every corner of the DC Universe. In this action-packed series, Dick Grayson emerges from the shadows to become the leader of a fearless band of new heroes, including Starfire, Raven, and many others. Titans is a dramatic, live-action adventure series that will explore and celebrate one of the most popular comic book teams ever.”
Johns, who is involved in both the DC Extended Universe and Arrowverse worlds, has given a couple of ambiguous yet encouraging tweets regarding the project, such as that Beast Boy will be in it, and that it will take more inspiration from Johns’s 2003-2007 run than the iconic Wolfman/Perez series.
However, there is a catch to all of this. Anyone looking forward to this show will not be able to watch it on The CW, FOX, Netflix, or any other service that has hosted the vast majority of DC’s live action television content in the past. Instead, Warner Bros. will be launching its own digital streaming service exclusively for DC content in 2018. As the official announcement reveals, the source will be operated by Warner Bros. Digital Networks Group in order to deliver “an immersive experience designed just for DC fans.” The upcoming Titans show will be one of two exclusive media that will air on this channel, alongside the third season of Young Justice, subtitled “Outsiders” to differentiate it from Season 2’s “Invasion” heading.
There are many questions this new video-on-demand service raises for not only comic book followers, but consumers in general. How much will it cost monthly? Will older DC shows be available to watch? How will this affect preexisting streaming deals with Netflix? And of course, whether or not Titans being on this avenue prevents it from being set in the Arrowverse.
All we can hope is that these genuine concerns are addressed sometime within the rest of the year.
[Featured Image by Fernando Leon/Getty Images]