Titans (2018 TV series)
|Based on||Characters from DC Comics|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||11 (list of episodes)|
|Production location(s)||Toronto, Ontario|
|Running time||40-50 minutes|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original network||DC Universe|
|Original release||October 12, 2018 –|
|Related shows||Doom Patrol|
Titans is an American web television series that is released on DC Universe, based on the DC Comics team Teen Titans. Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, and Greg Berlanti created the series, which features Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson / Robin, the leader of the Titans, alongside Anna Diop as Starfire, Teagan Croft as Raven and Ryan Potter as Beast Boy. Titans premiered on October 12, 2018, and its first season comprised eleven episodes. Ahead of the series' premiere, Titans was renewed for a second season.
A live-action series based on the Teen Titans entered development in September 2014 for the cable channel TNT, with Goldsman and Marc Haimes writing the pilot. The pilot had been ordered by December 2014, but never came to fruition, with TNT announcing in January 2016 it would no longer be moving forward with the project. In April 2017, it was announced that the series was being redeveloped for DC Comics' new direct-to-consumer digital service, with Goldsman, Johns, and Berlanti attached. Brenton Thwaites was cast as Dick Grayson in September 2017, and other series regulars were cast between August and October 2017. In May 2018, the spin-off series Doom Patrol was announced, which will pick up after the events of Titans.
Cast and characters
- Brenton Thwaites as Richard "Dick" Grayson / Robin: A former circus performer who, after his parents' death, was trained by Batman to fight crime as his sidekick, the first Robin. Now in his adulthood and a detective with the Detroit Police Department, Dick becomes the leader of a new group of heroes in his quest to step out from his mentor's shadow, and later burns his Robin costume. Tomaso Sanelli plays a young Dick Grayson in flashbacks.
- Anna Diop as Koriand'r / Kory Anders / Starfire: A powerful woman with no memory of her past who pursues Rachel looking for clues to it. She eventually learns she is from the planet Tamaran, on a mission to stop Rachel from somehow causing the destruction of her planet.
- Teagan Croft as Rachel Roth: A young mystical empath who is the daughter of a demon, and whose powers are driven by her emotions. Croft noted Rachel's relationship with Dick is "more of a father-daughter relationship" since they both "share the same feeling of abandonment."
- Ryan Potter as Garfield "Gar" Logan: A former member of the Doom Patrol, who developed the ability to shapeshift into a tiger as a side effect from a drug that cured him of the lethal disease Sakutia.
- Minka Kelly as Dawn Granger / Dove: A former ballerina who fights crime as a vigilante with her partner and boyfriend Hawk.
- Alan Ritchson as Hank Hall / Hawk: A former college football player and an aggressive, offensive bruiser who fights crime with his partner and girlfriend Dove.
- Jeff Clarke as Nuclear Dad: The father of the Nuclear Family.
- Melody Johnson as Nuclear Mom: The mother of the Nuclear Family.
- Jeni Ross as Nuclear Sis: The daughter of the Nuclear Family.
- Logan Thompson as Nuclear Biff: The son of the Nuclear Family.
- Reed Birney as Dr. Adamson.
- Curran Walters as Jason Todd / Robin: Batman's current sidekick and the second Robin. Showrunner Greg Walker loved "the unbridled sense of self that [Jason] has—there's a lack of... maybe self-awareness, but for sure self-consciousness in terms of how he comports himself and how he moves through the world. He's completely seemingly unaffected by darkness—he kind of embraces it or walks right through it. He's a breath of fresh air and that's what I love about him, he's got a punk rock, no-holds-barred attitude that's massively unburdened. There's a lot of energy that comes with that."
- Rachel Nichols as Angela Azarath: Rachel's biological mother.
- Conor Leslie as Donna Troy: Dick's childhood best friend who was Wonder Woman's sidekick Wonder Girl, but is now an investigative photojournalist. She also possesses the Lasso of Persuasion. Andi Hubick portrays a young Donna Troy in flashbacks.
- Seamus Dever as Trigon, Rachel's father and an interdimensional being with the power to destroy worlds.
- Sherilyn Fenn as Melissa Roth: Rachel's adoptive mother.
- Mark Antony Krupa as Konstantin Kovar: A gangster in Vienna, Austria.
- Lindsey Gort as Amy Rohrbach: A police detective who is the new partner of Dick Grayson.
- Jarreth J. Merz as The Acolyte: A mysterious man hunting Rachel.
- Bruno Bichir as Niles Caulder: A leading doctor in medical science who is the leader of the Doom Patrol.
- April Bowlby as Rita Farr / Elasti-Woman: A member of the Doom Patrol and former actress, who developed the power to stretch, shrink, and grow after being exposed to a toxic gas.
- Brendan Fraser and Jake Michaels as Clifford Steele / Robotman: A member of the Doom Patrol and former car racer, whose brain was transplanted into a robotic body after an accident destroyed his own. Fraser voices the character and appears as Steele in photos.
- Matt Bomer and Dwain Murphy as Larry Trainor / Negative Man: A member of the Doom Patrol and former pilot, who crashed into negative energy and is now wrapped in bandages from head to toe. Matt Bomer provides the voice of the character.
- Zach Smadu as Nuclear Stepdad, the new addition to the Nuclear Family after Nuclear Dad is killed.
- Lester Speight as Clayton Williams
- Richard Zeppieri as Anthony "Tony" Zucco: The gangster responsible for the deaths of Dick's parents.
- Tony Mac as Nick Zucco: Tony's vengeful son.
- Elliot Knight as Don Hall / Dove: Hank Hall's deceased younger brother, who was the original Dove.
- Marina Sirtis as Marie Granger: Dawn's deceased mother.
- Alain Moussi and Maxim Savaria as Batman: Though not portraying Bruce Wayne, Moussi and Savaria share the role of Batman as stunt doubles.
- Joshua Orpin as Conner Kent / Superboy: An angsty teenager of steel searching for purpose and the truth about his past.
- Esai Morales as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke: An enhanced elite soldier and assassin who sells his services to the highest bidder.
- Chella Man as Joseph Wilson / Jericho: Slade's mute son, who has the power to possess other people's bodies.
- Chelsea Zhang as Rose Wilson: Slade's daughter who has survived on her own since youth.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date||Prod.|
|1||"Titans"||Brad Anderson||Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti||October 12, 2018||T15.10146|
|Following her mother Melissa's murder at the hands of a mysterious assailant, troubled teen Rachel Roth exhibits telekinetic powers and flees town. Detroit detective Dick Grayson fights crime at night using his vigilante persona, Robin. Rachel is picked up by Detroit police, recognizes Dick from her nightmares, and asks him for help. By the time he realizes that she was telling the truth about her mother, Rachel has been drugged and abducted. Meanwhile, in Vienna, Austria, Kory Anders awakens in a bullet-ridden car wreck with no memory of her identity. She finds her way to gangster Konstantin Kovar, whom she has apparently betrayed in her search for a certain girl—Rachel. When Kovar attempts to shoot her, she releases a fiery power that incinerates him and everyone else in the room. About to be ritually slain by the man who killed her mother, Rachel blacks out as a dark version of herself emerges and kills her would-be murderer. Dick arrives, and takes her off to safety. In Covington, Ohio, a green tiger is on the prowl in an electronics store at night and transforms into a human boy.|
|2||"Hawk and Dove"||Brad Anderson||Akiva Goldsman||October 19, 2018||T13.20902|
|Dick takes Rachel to Hank Hall and Dawn Granger, masked vigilantes known as Hawk and Dove, with whom Dick fought crime years earlier. Though Hank and Dawn are in a committed relationship, Rachel senses that Dick and Dawn were previously involved, and still have unresolved issues. When a jealous Hank fights with Dick, Rachel's dark self manifests to stop it. The Nuclear Family is "activated" to retrieve Rachel, and they torture Dick's new partner, Detective Amy Rohrbach, to find him. Hawk and Dove take down an arms dealer with Robin's brutal assistance. Rachel is upset to discover that Dick intended to leave her with Hank and Dawn and not return. The Nuclear Family defeats Dick, Hank, and Dawn, capturing Rachel and leaving Dawn gravely injured.|
|3||"Origins"||Kevin Rodney Sullivan||Richard Hatem, Geoff Johns, Marisha Mukerjee & Greg Walker||October 26, 2018||T13.20904|
|Kory tracks down Rachel, and watches the Nuclear Family abduct her. Rachel's dark self refuses to help her, but Kory arrives, incinerates Nuclear Dad with her powers, and convinces Rachel to leave with her. Rachel and Kory find their way to a convent where Melissa had supposedly hidden from Rachel's father when she was a baby, and which Kory had visited in search of Rachel a year before. Dick recalls learning that his parents' death was not an accident, and being taken in by billionaire Bruce Wayne, who offers to teach Dick "another way to deal with the pain." Rachel meets Garfield Logan briefly, and Dick arrives. After Rachel's dark self manifests again, Dick and Kory take her back to the convent, where the sisters secretly lock her in the basement. Kory discovers that before her memory loss she was researching various doomsday prophecies concerning the advent of an apocalyptic "raven". Rachel's dark self taunts her and then manifests, leading to an explosion that allows Rachel to flee.|
|4||"Doom Patrol"||John Fawcett||Geoff Johns||November 2, 2018||T13.20905|
|Rachel comes across Gar, in his tiger form, as she flees through the woods. Gar takes Rachel to his house, where she meets Cliff Steel / Robotman, Larry Trainor / Negative Man, and Rita Farr / Elasti-Woman. Dr. Niles Caulder / The Chief arrives, furious with Gar for bringing a stranger to their home—where they are living in secret—but interested in running tests on Rachel. She agrees, but then demands to be unstrapped from the table. Niles refuses, and shoots Gar with a tranquilizer dart when he tries to intervene. Rachel's dark self emerges and attacks Niles. Meanwhile, Dick and Kory find the convent in ruins, and track Rachel to the Caulder house. Dick calms Rachel down and promises he will protect her. He departs with Rachel and Kory, and Gar goes with them, encouraged by Cliff to live his own life.|
|5||"Together"||Meera Menon||Bryan Edward Hill & Gabrielle Stanton||November 9, 2018||T13.20906|
|Dick makes the alliance with Kory, Gar, and Rachel official, and they all demonstrate their powers. Rachel and Gar connect, and Dick and Kory have sex. Dr. Adamson sends a new Nuclear Stepdad to the family. The Nuclear Family attacks, but together the group is able to subdue them. Dick also reveals himself as Robin to the group. Dick visits Adamson, who kills the family via a remote detonator. When a strike team comes to kill Dick, the new Robin appears and saves him.|
|6||"Jason Todd"||Carol Banker||Richard Hatem & Jeffrey David Thomas||November 16, 2018||T13.20907|
|Dick and Jason Todd, the new Robin, take Adamson to one of Bruce's safe houses in Chicago, where they are later joined by Kory, Rachel, and Gar. Learning that Bruce implanted a tracker in his arm at some point in the past, Dick removes it with a scalpel. Jason tells Dick that someone is murdering everyone who worked with his parents at the circus. Dick seeks out Clayton Williams, the only performer still alive and the likely next target. Clayton is abducted by Nick Zucco, son of Tony Zucco, the mobster who killed the Graysons. Nick wants revenge against Dick, who he blames for the Maronis' murder of his entire family. Jason helps Dick neutralize Nick, but Dick is disturbed by his needless brutality. Meanwhile, Adamson tells Kory that he will only talk to Rachel.|
|7||"Asylum"||Alex Kalymnios||Bryan Edward Hill & Greg Walker||November 23, 2018||T13.20908|
|Adamson slashes his own throat to force Rachel to use her empathic powers to revive him. He then informs Dick and Kory that Rachel will "purify" the world. Adamson tells them about Angela Azarath, Rachel's birth mother, who is being held at an abandoned asylum. They are captured when they arrive at the asylum, and Dick, Kory, and Gar are subjected to torturous examinations. Adamson promises to end their suffering if Rachel calls to her father, but Rachel kills Adamson instead. Rachel finds Angela, showing her birthmark to prove she is actually Angela's daughter. Taking Angela with her, Rachel frees the others, although Gar is traumatized by having killed an asylum doctor. They escape; Kory burns the asylum down, and Dick burns his Robin suit.|
|8||"Donna Troy"||David Frazee||Richard Hatem & Marisha Mukerjee||November 30, 2018||T13.20909|
|While Rachel, Kory, and Gar accompany Angela by train to the house she owns in Ohio, Dick goes off on his own to reconnect with an old friend, Donna Troy. The FBI stops the train in search of Kory, but she and the others escape after she causes a train car to explode. While Rachel uses her powers to unlock Kory's memories, Donna translates text that Dick photographed in Kory's storage unit. Donna's interpretation of the lost ancient language is that Kory's mission is to kill Rachel. Kory has a flash of memory, and grabs Rachel by the throat.|
|9||"Hank and Dawn"||Akiva Goldsman||Geoff Johns||December 7, 2018||TBA|
|With Dawn still in a coma, Hank remembers his childhood, when he allowed himself to be sexually abused by his football coach to save his little brother Don from molestation. In college, Hank and Don become vigilantes, Hawk and Dove, to punish sex offenders. An unconscious Dawn remembers her life as a ballerina, and the last time she saw her mother. Dawn's mother and Don are killed in the same accident, and Dawn and Hank get to know each other in grief counseling. Dawn discovers Hank's past as Hawk. He tells Dawn about his abuse, but admits that he never sought retribution against the coach because he could not face what happened to him. Dawn finds the abuser and demands that he confess; when they have beaten each other brutally, Hank arrives and finishes off the coach. Hank and Dawn sleep together. In the present, Dawn awakens, and tells Hank they need to find Jason Todd and help Rachel.|
|10||"Koriand'r"||Maja Vrvilo||Gabrielle Stanton||December 14, 2018||TBA|
|Donna stops Kory from killing Rachel. Dick and Donna follow a remorseful but confused Kory to an abandoned warehouse, where a spaceship uncloaks itself for Kory. She is Koriand'r, from the planet Tamaran, on a mission to destroy Rachel before she brings about the destruction of Earth and Tamaran. Rachel's father is Trigon, a being from another dimension who devours worlds. Rachel is both Trigon's doorway back to our dimension, and a means to destroy him. Dick, Donna, and Kory realize that Angela is assisting Trigon. Gar begins seeing apparitions in Angela's house, and collapses. With Gar dying, Angela convinces Rachel to call Trigon to help her. She does, and Trigon and Angela are reunited. Trigon heals Gar, and tells Angela that they can begin destroying the world once Rachel's heart breaks. Dick, Donna, and Kory arrive, but only Dick can pass through the mystical barrier that now surrounds Angela's house.|
|11||"Dick Grayson"||Glen Winter||Richard Hatem||December 21, 2018||TBA|
|Five years in the future, Dick is living happily with Dawn and their son John, with another baby on the way. Rachel and Gar are at college. A paraplegic Jason asks Dick to stop Bruce, who is intent on killing the Joker. Dick travels to Gotham and is reunited with Kory, who has joined the FBI. Batman murders the Joker, as well as every patient and staff member at Arkham Asylum. Dick feels compelled to reveal Batman's secret identity to the police so they can apprehend him. Kory and a SWAT team raid Wayne Manor, but Batman slaughters them all. An enraged Dick demolishes the mansion with explosives, and when he finds Batman alive but trapped in the rubble, Dick kills him. In the present, Rachel is horrified to see Dick enslaved by Trigon's power, and the dark future and Dick's murder of Batman is revealed to have been a fantasy created by Trigon to lead Dick to embrace darkness. Later, somewhere in Metropolis, a man designated as "Subject 13"—and bearing a Superman logo tattoo—escapes containment in a laboratory. He also frees a Labrador Retriever, whose eyes glow red.|
John Fawcett is set to direct the first episode of the second season.
A potential live-action Titans project for cable channel TNT was announced in September 2014. By December 2014, a pilot written by Akiva Goldsman and Marc Haimes had been ordered that would feature Dick Grayson emerging from Batman's shadow to become Nightwing, the leader of a band of heroes including Starfire, Raven, Hawk and Dove, and Oracle. The pilot was set with filming to occur in Toronto in mid-2015. In May 2015, TNT president Kevin Reilly said that they hoped to have the casting locked down by the start of filming and that the show would be "very true" to the comics and "groundbreaking". The series, called Titans and then Blackbirds, was first set to begin shooting in Toronto in mid-2015. Production was then postponed to October. In January 2016, it was announced that TNT would no longer be moving forward with the project. In February 2016, Geoff Johns stated "We [at DC] have known about [TNT nixing Titans] for months and months and months. That's not new news to us. We have plans for Titans. It's a huge piece of DC and we have plans." Johns, who had spent seven years developing the material with Goldsman, said in October 2018 that the project depended on securing the rights to Dick Grayson. He said, "You couldn't do Titans without Robin...So there was a lot of behind-the-scenes work that went into that." Previous Titans projects had been hampered by the rights to Batman being locked up.
In April 2017, Warner Bros. announced that Titans would debut in 2018 on DC Comics' own direct-to-consumer digital service. The series is being developed by Akiva Goldsman, Johns, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, with Goldsman, Johns and Berlanti writing the pilot episode. All are also executive producers of the series for Weed Road Pictures and Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros Television. In October 2018, Titans was renewed for a second season ahead of the series' premiere at New York Comic Con. Greg Walker and John Fawcett were added as executive producers for the second season. The same month, Johns teased that a "new" version of Deathstroke will eventually appear in the show.
Though twelve episodes were initially announced, in December 2018, the eleventh episode was billed as the first-season finale. The twelfth episode was moved forward to the premiere of the second season.
Johns noted the series was inspired mostly by the Teen Titans comics of the 1980s, since that comic's run "had so much drama" and "was so revolutionary for its time". He added, "We really wanted to lean into the idea that every Titan of these Titans is a doorway into another genre. With Rachel [a.k.a. Raven], it's the supernatural and the horror, and the first season really focuses on who Raven is and how the Titans galvanize around her." Johns also felt the series would be "a little more adult" than the television series Riverdale, calling it "not necessarily a teen drama, [but] more of an adventure piece." He said that tonally, "We wanted to do something different from everything else out there. We wanted to arrive at a tone that wasn't as welcoming as some of the DC shows have been, nor as nihilistic as some of the films have been." Goldsman said that as the series continues, it will ask "How are these broken people going to cohere? Or will they?" Johns noted that Robin's infamous line in the pilot—"Fuck Batman"—was a late addition to the script. Thwaites said of the line, "I thought it was perfect...This is not a show about Batman. It's a show about Dick."
In early August 2017, Teagan Croft was cast as Raven, followed at the end of the month with the casting of Anna Diop as Starfire, and Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson / Robin. In October 2017, Ryan Potter was cast as Beast Boy. In February 2019, it was announced that Joshua Orpin had been cast as Conner Kent / Superboy for season two.
In early September 2017, Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly were cast in the recurring roles of Hank Hall / Hawk and Dawn Granger / Dove, respectively. By the end of the month, Lindsey Gort had been cast as Amy Rohrbach. In January 2018, Seamus Dever was cast in an undisclosed role, and a month later, members of the Doom Patrol were announced with Bruno Bichir as Niles Caulder / Chief, April Bowlby as Rita Farr / Elasti-Girl, Jake Michaels as Clifford Steele / Robotman, and Matt Bomer as Larry Trainor / Negative Man. Curran Walters and Conor Leslie appear as Jason Todd and Donna Troy / Wonder Girl, respectively. In August 2018, Elliot Knight was cast as Don Hall / Dove. In March 2019, Esai Morales was cast as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke, and shortly after Chella Man and Chelsea Zhang were cast as his children Joseph Wilson / Jericho and Rose Wilson.
Filming for the second season is set to begin April 2, 2019.
On Rotten Tomatoes, a film and television review aggregator, Titans holds a "Certified Fresh" approval rating of 82%, with an average rating of 6.61 out of 10 based on 38 reviews. The site's critical consensus states, "Despite a few tonal growing pains, Titans does justice to its source material and truly shines when its titular ensemble finally assembles." Another aggregator, Metacritic, gave the series a score of 55 out of 100 based on 8 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Susana Polo of Polygon praised Titans for "tempering brutal violence and dark subject matter with humor—and by giving its characters plenty of time to stretch, breathe and become attached to one another". Charlie Ridgely of Comicbook.com wrote that Diop "conveys so much wonder and intrigue with her subtle and genuine expressions, but there is a consistent fierceness and tenacity that is always lurking just beneath the surface". Rosie Knight of Nerdist wrote that the "cast is at the core of what makes Titans so enjoyable", while giving praise to the script as well.
Forbes contributor Merrill Barr compared the show to The CW's Riverdale, describing it as "a dark and gritty series very far removed from the image the Teen Titans have garnered through a variety of animated outings over the last decades". Barr argued that viewers "that take the tone in stride are going to find themselves in the middle of a series dialed directly into their interests".
Conversely, Kevin Yeoman of Screen Rant was critical of the show's excessive violence, writing that Titans "doesn't put forward any new or particularly compelling thoughts about its characters or about superheroes in general". Similarly, Vinne Mancuso of Collider said that "if you're just a fan of some good old-fashioned ultra-violence and moody storytelling, this simply isn't a well-done example of that".
In May 2018, DC Universe announced the live-action series Doom Patrol had received a direct-to-series order. Developed by Jeremy Carver, Berlanti, and Johns (who also serves as executive producers along with Schechter) for Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions, the series picks up from the events of Titans and see the Doom Patrol, comprising Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, Crazy Jane, and led by Dr. Niles "The Chief" Caulder, take on a mission given to them by Cyborg. Production began August 2018, with Carver writing for the series, with a scheduled release in 2019. Brendan Fraser and Riley Shanahan were cast to replace Jake Michaels as Robotman. Fraser voices the character and appears as Steele in flashbacks, while Shanahan physically portrays Robotman. Additionally, Timothy Dalton was cast to replace Bichir as Caulder. Doom Patrol premiered on February 15, 2019.
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