In September 2014, after months of rumors The Hollywood Reporter‘s Lesley Goldberg confirmed that TNT was close to ordering a pilot for a live-action adaptation of Teen Titans from Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend, Lobo) and Marc Haimes. It was described as being “about Dick Grayson after he ditches the Robin identity to become Nightwing” and “recruits a fearless band of new superheroes including Starfire, Raven and more.” They were going to call it Titans, and it would be most inspired by the 1980s run of the Teen Titans comics.
Then there was a whole lot of nothing. As the TV world marched ever forward with one new comic book show after another, Titans remained a thing which wasn’t technically dead but sure seemed like it. You’d mention it to friends, and they’d ask, “Oh, yeah. What are they doing on that? Are they at least filming the pilot by now?” and you’d realize you had no idea.
This past November, Joblo ran with the rumor that WB was thinking about turning its previously announced 2020 Cyborg movie into a Teen Titans movie. The reason for the change would be why merely make a solo movie about an African-American hero when you can pair him with a couple of other girls and guys, most of whom won’t necessarily need to be white. Let’s add more diversity, and if you mimic Guardians of the Galaxy’s team-up structure in the process then that’s even better.
Wait, why would they make a Titan Titans movie? I thought they were doing that as a TV show.
First of all, if WB let that kind of thing stop them then we wouldn’t have both a Grant Gustin and Ezra Miller version Barry Allen. Secondly, come on, they’re not really making that TV show. We should have heard way more about it in the past year if they were serious about it.
So, it should come as little surprise that TNT officially announced earlier today that it has decided to pass on Titans.
What changed between THR’s initial report and now? We heard about the seemingly imminent pilot order in September 2014, and two months after that former Fox President Kevin Reilly was hired as the new President of TNT and TBS and Chief Creative Officer for Turner Entertainment. He apparently wasn’t nearly as keen on Titans as his predecessors, telling reporters at the Televisions Critics Assocation press tour, “We just decided it wasn’t quite where we wanted to go.” He later elaborated in an interview with THR:
Akiva [Goldsman] is a talented guy, [but] the script just wasn’t there. There is an unbelievable glut of superhero things in the market right now and if you have a really good one, clearly people are up for it. But I just don’t think that there’s a need for one that, for me, at least on paper didn’t seem to be screaming to get made.
This show was going to have nothing to do with the current animated iteration of the Teen Titans, but, screw it, I’ll close with a Teen Titans GO! video anyway.