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Robin’s quest to get his own movie in this summer’s animated film Teen Titans Go! to the Movies may have failed, but he shouldn’t be too bummed because, after four years in development, he’s got another series about him and his superhero buddies. Executive-produced by Geoff Johns, Akiva Goldsman, and Arrowverse overlord Greg Berlanti, DC Universe’s inaugural series follows Robin/Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), Raven/Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft), Starfire/Koriand’r (Anna Diop), and Beast Boy/Gar Logan (Ryan Potter) as they form the Titans and fight an evil threatening one of their own — and the world.
Check out an exclusive first look at the team below:
Titans began as a potential TNT series in 2014, but the network passed on the pilot in 2016. Luckily, DC was working on its own streaming platform and “thought it’d be a great show to launch the service with,” says Johns, adding that the shift allowed them to make the show darker and more serialized. “It was an opportunity do less of a conventional procedural show and more of a 12-hour movie.… We could focus in more on character and push the envelope, in terms of content.” In other words, this is how they got Robin saying “f— Batman” in the trailer.
The show is a bit of a slow burn, which means the Titans aren’t “the Titans” by the end of the premiere. When the drama — which draws on Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s seminal New Teen Titans comic series — begins, Dick is working as a detective in Detroit because he’s trying to distance himself from the life of violence he led while he was Batman’s sidekick. But then he meets Rachel, a troubled young girl and empath who just happens to be the daughter of a demon, and who asks Dick to help her understand her powers.
“She’s connected to him because they share the same feeling of abandonment,” 14-year-old Croft says of her character. “It’s more of a father-daughter relationship.”
Looking to evade malevolent forces who want to take advantage of Raven, these lost souls hit the road, picking up Beast Boy and Starfire along the way. Although it takes some time for the team to unite, it was well worth the wait for Thwaites. “My favorite scenes [were] fighting [alongside] those guys because, one, I feel like the actors that were cast were all brilliant and lovely to work with, and we all got along really well,” he says. “But also, the scenes were quite difficult and [we had] night shoots in the winter in the snow, so I feel like that camaraderie just in the actors alone hopefully transfers to the TV.”
As the season unfolds, the Titans also cross paths with some familiar faces from the comics, like Hawk (Alan Ritchson) and Dove (Minka Kelly); the idiosyncratic and spin-off-bound Doom Patrol; Wonder Girl Donna Troy (Conor Leslie); and Jason Todd (Curran Walters), Batman’s current (and doomed) sidekick. “Jason Todd thinks being Robin is the coolest thing that could ever happen to somebody, and Dick’s experience is vastly different,” Johns teases about the two Boy Wonders’ “delightful” meeting.
While fans can expect Titans to diverge from its source material in surprising ways, Johns promises the show will remain true to what makes the team so special: “The Titans always feel relevant because it’s about characters that are lost and found families. That will always be relevant, because it’s human.”
Titans premieres Oct. 12 on DC Universe, with new episodes arriving every Friday.