‘Titans’ is about a month away from its premier on DC Universe, the new streaming service that kicks off this weekend. We already know that Dick Grayson is no longer on speaking terms with his mentor, Batman, but as part of the series Batman will take on a new, younger Robin, Jason Todd.
Showrunner Greg Walker spoke to IGN and supplied them with two new images of Jason Todd (Curran Walters) and Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) coming face-to-face. Walker spoke about the show’s depiction of Jason Todd, a dark figure from the comics, who was murdered in action by The Joker only to be resurrected years later as the Red Hood. He also addressed the interaction between the two Robins and, no surprise, they don’t get along.
“What I really love about [Jason] as a character is… – 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… he’s got a punk rock, no-holds-barred attitude that’s massively unburdened. There’s a lot of energy that comes with that.”
“It’s like running into your ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, minus the sexual tension. You get to watch Dick Grayson struggle when he sees another Robin and how that Robin is different and has a different relationship with ‘dad.’ And the second child gets away with stuff the first child would never get away with…”
It’s unknown how these two will meet, because at the start of ‘Titans’, Dick will have relocated to Detroit, where he works as a police detective, in order to escape Gotham City and his dark past there.
“Dick Grayson is in exile, trying to figure out who Dick Grayson is and who Robin is, and how both of them or either of them or neither of them relate to Batman… he’s dealing with that and trying to understand the darkness that came with him – is it nature or nurture? Is it due to the horrible circumstances that drew him to be Bruce Wayne’s ward, or is it because of the actual raising and upbringing?”
And while we know that Bruce/Batman casts a shadow over the series, it’s unknown if he will actually appear, other than as fleeting images out of the corners of Dick’s eyes.
“Bruce looms large in our show – both Bruce and Batman, if you want to separate them, and the show does to some degree. We’re not a Batman show, and that’s for a number of reasons, but I think we definitely want to show the relationship between Bruce and Dick just simply as an origin story. If the show does anything, it sets up Dick’s thesis about who Bruce/Batman is and then attempts to question it along the way… Just as you or I might have a version of our parents and somebody comes along, a spouse or a friend, and says, ‘from the outside, I’m not so sure you’re right,’ we want to function that way too.”
“There’s only so much internal pressure a character can hold before he or she has to release, and he’s a kid dealing with trauma and grief and issues that need to have an external release, otherwise you’re having the kind of mopey, dark antihero that I certainly, as an audience member, have seen a lot of and am tired of. I think we push the limits of where you go with that character, but he still plays by the same rules that Robin has played by in the past, which is that it’s justice-related. [It] certainly at times edges towards irrational and unexamined, but it’s an expression of that side of his struggle, the darkness inside him he’s trying to figure out how to deal with, and to not show it would be pulling punches and would be disingenuous.”
While a lot of focus has been given to Dick Grayson’s journey, previously executive producer Geoff Johns has stressed that the show is a team/family show and that the other characters get their share of the limelight.
‘Titans’ kicks off on October 12th with one new episode released weekly. The first season consists of 12 episodes.