DC’s ‘Teen Titans’: Is There a Future for a Live-Action Series?
For five seasons beginning in 2003, Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans gave us our first taste of a mature superhero TV show. This was almost a full decade before Arrow and The Flash were even a glimmer in the CW’s eye, with the animated series acting as the single television destination for comic book fans. Today, the genre is a full-blown phenomena. Teen Titans is little more than a distant memory for most, but for some, it’s far from forgotten. Lucky for us, the people who remember the series just so happen to be the ones in charge of DC’s television empire.
Almost a year ago to the day, The Nerdist reported on TNT’s plans for a live-action Teen Titan series, featuring Nightwing, Raven, Starfire, Hawk, Dove, and Barbara Gordon (also known as Oracle). The idea seemed like a slam dunk for all involved. DC already had its insanely successful extended universe on the CW, as well as a solid plan for the next five years of its movies. But along the way, something fell apart, and the show never made it to pilot stage. Network head Kevin Reilly provided little in the way of details, past a cryptic explanation that “we just decided it wasn’t quite where we wanted to go.”
Now a month later, fans have been left wondering if their live-action Teen Titans dreams will ever come true. Legends of Tomorrow got its CW debut in late-January, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters in March, and not long after that, Suicide Squad will be the next in line on DC’s crowded release schedule. Even with all this coming down the pipeline though, it should come as a comfort that the studio hasn’t completely forgotten about us. The studio’s entertainment head Geoff Johns recently told TV Line that even after TNT’s cancellation of the series, “we have plans for Titans. It’s a huge piece of DC and we have plans.”
What those “plans” entail is only pure speculation at this point, but rumors from JoBlo published last November seem to fit in Johns’s promise to TV Line. We’re of course referring to its report that “a Teen Titans film is under consideration,” going on to note a potential merging of the Titans with the already-announced Cyborg movie. It would make a whole lot of sense thematically; Cyborg was a key member in the original Cartoon Network series, and even as a member of the Justice League still has close ties to his original team. Additionally, it could also help set the lesser-known Cyborg up for a more recognizable role as a Titan. Keep in mind that this is the same studio that green-lit a Suicide Squad movie, so it wouldn’t be that far outside the realm of possibility.
Whatever DC’s big plans for Teen Titans are, it’s nice to know that something might be in the works. As we noted last year, the original TNT series would have been revolutionary in the way of gender equality in the world of comic book entertainment. Keeping in mind that this was before Supergirl or Jessica Jones ever hit the airwaves, Titans would have been the first show of its kind, featuring a team composed primarily of female heroes (two-thirds to be exact). The Cartoon Network show was similarly progressive in the treatment of its own women, setting a solid precedent for any future iterations DC has coming down the road.
There’s certainly more than enough in the way of TV and films from DC to keep us occupied for the time being. While Teen Titans may not be the biggest priority for the studio, it’s an amazing trump card it has yet to play in its eternal war with Marvel’s own cinematic universe. How DC plays that card could represent a massive shift in the balance of power between the two, so keep an eye out: Perhaps soon, the Teen Titans could be making their live-action debut.
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