The inaugural DC Universe original series unites the fan-favorite characters of the Teen Titans in a more mature story targeted for older viewers. But there were some major hurdles they had to overcome in order to make Titans.
Series producer and writer Geoff Johns revealed in an interview with CBR that they had to fight with executives to be able to include Dick Grayson, the series main character and most popular hero in his persona as Robin.
"The short of it all is that we were trying to develop Teen Titans as a show for a long, long time and we had to fight really hard to get Dick Grayson in the show and that’s when it figured itself out," Johns said. "Like there was a while when the show, we weren’t allowed to have Dick Grayson in it for a lot of reasons that had nothing to do with creative, and once he got in there, then we started to build the show around him because that’s the main character and cornerstone of Titans."
Many creatives involved with DC Comics-based TV shows have spoken at length about executive decisions preventing certain characters from appearing in their shows.
It's rumored that Arrow was not allowed to use Deathstroke after the film division made plans to include the character on the big screen. And while the Batman prequel series Gotham has made frequent teases, references, and outright connections to the popular villain The Joker, despite not being able to actually use that name.
But Titans seems to be going a similar route in trying to fulfill expectations, all while delivering a satisfying narrative that fans will be satisfied with.
"But the audience? It’s for the fans. It’s for people who love the characters, and then also people who might not know Hawk and Dove," Johns said. "Like, I love that we’re introducing Hawk and Dove in a big way to people, because they don’t know who they are and they come at it with no baggage. They don’t have an opinion on Hawk and Dove, because they haven’t had a lot of comic books. They haven’t had a huge impression in comics, even though Rob Liefeld’s series was, I thought, brilliant in the 80s. But I think for the fans. Really for the fans."
Fans have seen Hawk & Dove in recent episodes of Titans, and the next episode will introduce more obscure characters with the Doom Patrol, who are set to receive their own series in 2019.
New episodes of Titans air every Friday on DC Universe.