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That infamous line from the Titans trailer wasn’t always there.
When the DC Universe series’ trailer debuted during San Diego Comic-Con in July, the moment that got everyone talking was Robin (Brenton Thwaites) punctuating a violent alleyway fight scene by saying, “F— Batman.” But according to Thwaites, the line was “thrown in” during reshoots after they’d completed most of the season, including the fight.
“We’d already shot that alley fight scene before, and there was no punch to it,” Thwaites tells EW. “There was no real exclamation mark. I think the producers wanted something that would kind of set the tone for the whole show.”
He continues, “It’s a show that isn’t about Batman, and I think it’s important for people to know that and maybe not be disappointed that they’re not going to see Batman jumping from the ceiling and beating up a hundred guys, because it’s not Batman, it’s a story about the Titans, essentially. I feel like ‘F— Batman’ says that in two words.”
In addition to setting Titans’ tone, the line also indicates where Robin’s at when the series begins, because the Dick Grayson we meet on the show isn’t the stable, emotionally balanced character who’s currently running around the comics as Nightwing. This Dick is lost, struggling with his inner darkness, and trying to distance himself from the life of violence he led as Batman’s sidekick, all while working as a detective in Detroit.
“The whole point of [the show] is to tell the story of Robin breaking away from Batman and a life of fighting crime that he didn’t exactly agree with, and beginning the search for his own identity and his own moral center,” says Thwaites.
Adds executive producer Geoff Johns: “It’s definitely a Dick Grayson that’s more violent than people are used to. It’s definitely a Dick Grayson that is struggling more than I think people are used to.”
Spoiler alert: He gets drawn back into the game when he meets Teagan Croft’s Rachel, a.k.a. Raven, who is on the run from some malevolent forces. Eventually, the two hit the road and cross paths with Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) and Starfire (Anna Diop). However, this unlikely team-up might be just what Dick needs to work through his issues.
“It’s only by opening himself up to these new people, including Rachel most of all, that he’s really gonna be able to start acknowledging [what his life with Batman did to him],” says Johns.
Titans premieres Oct. 12 on DC Universe, with new episodes arriving every Friday.