TEEN TITANS!!! You know, those guys you wish you were one of when you were getting picked on all the time in high school?! Oh, the things I would do to those jocks if I was Beast Boy!
But, I digress! If you've read my previous Teen Titans article, you know that I am a devout Teen Titans fan who's remaining ever so hopeful that they'll get their moment in the DC Cinematic Universe, and considering things are starting to pick up again in Hollywood for DC Comics, that may very well be a possibility! I've covered a few ideas already in my first Titans article, mostly focusing on the founding members and the signature characters that most fans know and love! Still, like the Justice League, there are a LOT more team members that can still have a presence in perhaps a follow-on movie!
Since this will be a rather long list of Titans, I’ll save my “Titans Villains TAKE 2” list for another time! That said, there is still a plethora of loveable Titans that should get their time in the spotlight! I've devised a few ideas for who can answer the call, and I'm gonna share them with you RIGHT NOW!
My name is Action, and this is TAKE TWO of my DCCU TEEN TITANS CASTING CALL!
JENNETTE MCCURDY AS TONI MONETTI/ARGENT
To kick this off, I'll start with a character that was probably unknown to the general public prior to the Teen Titans cartoon! Despite the Multiverse that exists in DC Comics, I urge you to not let that rendition of Argent be your only view of the character! In the comics, she's a much more compelling character! She's seen teammates die in addition to living through her own dark past! That said, I want to nominate Jennette McCurdy, known for her role as Sam Puckett in iCarly and its spin-off series, Sam and Cat! I am a HUGE fan of Jennette McCurdy! I watched iCarly and Sam and Cat, and currently watching her Netflix original series Between, and I follow her on social media! Now, you know I always have a good reason for all of my casting choices, and despite what you might think of her, Jennette's no exception to this! Think about her character Sam: has a neglectful mother, daddy's nowhere in the picture, has violent streaks, super sarcastic, and yet will laugh and joke while having her friends' backs in any situation! Sam has been through her fair share of dark times, but still keeps plugging away at life! That type of character portrayal, along with her dramatic performance in Between, seems like the right fit for Argent, and as of this article, Jennette's only 24 years old while still looking like she's 17! If you follow Jennette on social media, you’ll also see that she prides herself in fitness! Her workout videos are insane! She’s definitely right for Argent, and that's not just the fan in me talking!
XOLO MARIDUENA AS JAIME REYES/BLUE BEETLE
Here we have Jaime Reyes, the current carrier (or victim, however you want to look at it) of the scarab that turns its host into the Blue Beetle! He's a young Mexican boy with street smarts and plenty of attitude! Like many of his fellow Titans, he's had a very rough childhood, and a "parasite" attached to his body doesn't necessarily help, either! So for this role, I envisioned a child actor of Mexican heritage that is known for playing a troubled youth, so I picked Xolo Mariduena! His claim to fame began with the TV series Parenthood, in which he plays an adopted child named Victor who is brought into a broken house, and I don't mean physically broken, but rather emotionally broken! Imagine a married couple living in a house with their four adult kids, all of whom have families and/or kids of their own, and the ensuing drama that comes with all of that! It's like Arrested Development with a LOT more agonizing drama! Now imagine being a young minority foster child suddenly thrown into that mix and the kind of toll it takes on your psyche! That's where Xolo comes in! The actor himself seems like a happy and friendly kind of guy, but he plays the “troubled foster child” so well that it's mesmerizing! That seems to work when translated to Jaime Reyes, and at the ripe age of 15, Xolo is perfect for this role! Look up the show Parenthood and see for yourself!
AMANDLA STENBERG AS KAREN BEECHER-DUNCAN/BUMBLEBEE
What did that guy in that Vine say?! "RUE DIES, MUTHAF***A!" (aww...right in the feels) But yes, this lovely young lady played the famous Rue of The Hunger Games! If you take that role into consideration, you have a young black girl who is not only a fantastic team player, but also knows a thing or two about love and friendship! That's the core characteristics of Bumblebee, who, as a superhero, is essentially DC's answer to Marvel's Wasp! The only difference from Rue is Bumblebee has more of that "black girl sass" in her character, which Amandla shouldn't have a problem replicating now that she's matured! I get the feeling that Rue would've been like that anyway if she had survived and grew up, especially in The Hunger Games's environment! The now-17 Amandla is a splendid young actress, so I have full confidence that she'd make a splendid Bumblebee!
SHAMEIK MOORE AS MALCOLM DUNCAN/HERALD
All things considered, I can’t in good conscience cover Bumblebee’s backstory without at least including her boyfriend, Malcolm “Mal” Duncan/Herald! I give a personal nod to Shameik Moore for his performance in the movie Dope, where he plays a charismatic, yet nerdy, high school senior starting his path to college before getting thrown into the middle of a drug war! Oddly enough, this character’s name is ALSO Malcolm! In comparison, Herald has that charisma and friendly persona, and is very much a devout boyfriend to Bumblebee! He’s at the right age range and physique to establish himself in the role! Worst case scenario for the 21-year-old Shameik is he would have to stack on a little more muscle to fill out Herald’s classic look, but it’s time well-invested for a promising actor to become a Titan!
EVANNA LYNCH AS DUELA DENT
I can't help but think of a young, attractive actress famous for her portrayal of a bizarre character! For you Harry Potter fans out there, this is Luna Lovegood, a character who is as bizarre as they come, but at least in a fun way! I can totally see Evanna turning her Luna persona into the VERY bizarre Duela Dent! The self-proclaimed "Joker's Daughter," Duela's persona and trickery are all nods to her alleged father (who's not really her father, by the way), and whether she's on the side of the Titans or an antihero, she keeps the other characters, as well as the reader, guessing all the time! The lovely Evanna Lynch can capture those traits perfectly, and since the Harry Potter saga was indeed a Warner Bros. project, she's got the rapport established with the company already, so she'd be a shoo-in!
TYLER POSEY AND BELLA THORNE AS HANK HALL AND DAWN GRANGER/HAWK AND DOVE
While there are quite a few versions of the team through progressive storyline, I opted to meet in the middle with Hank Hall and Dawn Granger/Hawk I and Dove II! I went with this combination for purposes of a DCCU story! We can establish the tragic backstory involving Hank’s brother Don Hall/Dove I, transition that into “present day” with Dawn Granger, and set up future films involving Hank’s spiral into darkness and introduce Dawn’s sister Holly Granger/Hawk II! I feel like it’s the right balance! Regardless of speculation, all versions of Hawk and Dove are pretty much the same: agents of Chaos and Order, respectively, with the hot-headed, gung-ho Hawk and the defensive, critical-thinking Dove to balance one another out in the field, though Dawn Granger is notably more aggressive than her predecessor Don Hall! Hawk’s character can be portrayed effectively by the muscular Tyler Posey, known for his role as Scott McCall – a True Alpha werewolf – in the MTV series Teen Wolf! As for Dove, I can see a lot of potential with Bella Thorne, known for her role as CeCe Jones – an impulsive street-smart girl who loves dancing – in the Disney Channel series Shake It Up! Between Scott McCall’s feral tenacity and CeCe Jones’s street smarts, this pair of young actors has what it takes to bring the Agents of Chaos and Order to life! To my knowledge, they’ve never worked together in the past, but I’m confident that their experience would make them a great duo on the big screen!
JONATHAN LIPNICKI AS JOSEPH WILSON/JERICHO
Hey, remember that cute little kid from Jerry McGuire?! Or that cute little kid from Stuart Little?! Ooh, how about that cute little kid from The Little Vampire?! Yeah, “that cute little kid” is Jonathan Lipnicki, who played just that – the cute little kid – in pretty much every movie he was in as a child star in the late 90s! After starring in The L.A. Riot Spectacular in 2004, he went on hiatus until resurfacing in For the Love of Money in 2011! Since that film, the now-25-year-old Jonathan’s gotten some decent exposure with both small and big roles in drama and crime/action, like Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses, Tag, and the soon-to-be-released Boone: the Bounty Hunter! With his experience as a child actor, at least, Jonathan knows how to let just his facial expressions do the talking, like a “cute little kid” would do, thus making him a great contender to play the mute son of Deathstroke, Jericho! That’s right! Jericho is mute! Due to an assassination attempt on his life, which was foiled by Deathstroke himself, young Joseph Wilson’s throat was slashed, severing his vocal chords! Though he survived, he is unable to speak as a result! Not that he needs to, however, because Jericho has the power to essentially “possess” anyone he makes eye contact with, and can maintain this possession for an undetermined amount of time! He even managed to jump into Superman’s body once, though he couldn’t keep that going for very long (I mean, c’mon, it’s Superman)! I haven’t seen him garner much praise for his adult work, but he’s still pushing, and his physique, action/drama experience, and that baby-face of his, is all he needs to pull off Jericho! I’m sure us 90s kids would love to see “that cute little kid” as a Teen Titan!
THOMAS HORN AS EDDIE BLOOMBERG/KID DEVIL
The 18-year-old Thomas Horn, all things considered,…looks creepy as hell! Look at those eyes! It’s like he’s looking deep into your soul, ready to snatch you from your consciousness to claim you as one of his everlasting soldiers of the underworld, ready to proclaim this realm of existence in the name of Beelzebub so he can rise up once again to avenge his embarrassing loss in that parking lot rock-off against Tenacious D (points if you get the reference)! But yeah, KID DEVIL!!! Kidding aside, Thomas hasn’t had a lot of exposure in Hollywood, only having two acting credits to his name, the most notable alongside Tom Hanks as the emotional 9-year-old Oskar Schell in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close! Fun fact, however: Thomas was actually discovered during a "Kids Week" promotion of the game show Jeopardy!, earning almost $32,000 and catching the eye of producer Scott Rudin, who then offered him an audition for the role of Oskar Schell, and the rest is history! Despite only two acting credits, Thomas is well-known for his gifted smarts and dramatic acting skills, which leads me to believe he can effectively pull of the emotionally-unstable Kid Devil, who gained his appearance and abilities after making a deal with the demon Neron! So in a nutshell, Eddie Bloomberg makes a deal with the devil,…and becomes a devil! This seems like just the right role for young Thomas to really make an impact in Hollywood! THEM EYES, THOUGH!!!
Before I move on, let me tell you a little about my next topic of discussion: MÁS Y MENOS! Capable of superhuman speeds when in some form of physical contact with one another, these twins are the first, and only, Teen Titans characters to be introduced in the Teen Titans cartoon show and make their way into the comic books, cementing themselves among famous cartoon-to-comic DC characters like Harley Quinn and Terry McGinnis/Batman Beyond! Due to the success of Harley Quinn and Terry McGinnis, this milestone is why I wanted to cover them in this article, also because Más y Menos have a lot of potential to reach iconic status with the right push, much like Harley and Terry have! The good thing is that due to the nature of Más y Menos's introduction, there’s flexibility for covering their characters! There's the option of running the more media-centric kid versions from the cartoon in which they were introduced, or the option of running the older, more seasoned versions from the comic books! I’d be happy with either,...so I’m gonna cover both!
CALEB AND MATTHEW PADDOCK AS MÁS Y MENOS (CARTOON VERSION)
Meet 6-year-olds Caleb and Matthew Paddock! You may (vaguely) remember them tag-teaming the role of newborn Harris in The Five-Year Engagement! The Paddock Twins are literally new faces in Hollywood, but at such a young age, they have a lot of untapped potential for memorable movie roles! In fact, they broke into the fantasy genre when they starred alongside one another as young Tommy and Caleb in the fantasy musical Tommy Battles the Silver Sea Dragon, which, as of right now, is in post-production! Considering I appreciate a good musical, I’m assessing a bright future for these two! Perhaps Más y Menos will help the Paddock Twins' names become more recognizable and give them their push to stardom!
BRENT AND SHANE KINSMAN AS MÁS Y MENOS (COMIC VERSION)
As for the comic book versions, I’m nominating Brent and Shane Kinsman! Now 18 years old, these two are popularly known for playing rambunctious twins in their prime, most famously the twins from the Cheaper by the Dozen films! For that reason, I’m personally leaning more towards these two playing the older comic book duo because their reputations mesh well with the rather rambunctious personalities of Más y Menos! Considering they haven’t done anything post-Cheaper by the Dozen (aside from one episode of ER), these “rambunctious twins” can make a HUGE comeback with the Teen Titans as Más y Menos and remind everyone just how well they can steal the show!
WILLOW SHIELDS AS M'GANN M'ORZZ/MISS MARTIAN
The now-16-year-old Willow Shields is known for her role as Primrose Everdeen, little sister of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games Saga! Yes I know, I'm reaching into the Hunger Games universe again, but Willow would be a great choice for Miss Martian! Think about it! Prim's character was nurturing and mature in nature, despite her young age! She was more of a healer rather than a fighter! Prim's character is very similar to Miss Martian for this reason: caring, nurturing, and more of a supportive character than a fighter (as long as you don't make her angry)! She's just a sweetheart of a character overall! I think Willow's portrayal of Primrose gives her a leg up for a role as Miss Martian!
DARIA AS ROSABELLE MENDEZ/PANTHA
It's Wolverine as a catgirl,...literally! Pantha's history is shrouded in mystery (you like that rhyme?) because she has no knowledge of who she was before being mutated into a catgirl by the Wildebeest Society! Sadly, she searches high and low for clues about her humanity to no avail! To cast this right, we have to consider an exceptionally-fit actress who can pull of the rough-and-tough persona of Pantha effectively! It was difficult to assess, I'll be honest, but I went with a young lady named Daria! Age 22, 5’ 7”, mixed martial artist, and professional wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment’s NXT brand, Daria Berenato is a great fit! If you’ve seen her perform (whether in WWE or in her MMA days), you know that she’s very skilled and is super intense, all while maintaining a youthful appearance that can pass as at least a late-teen! I’m willing to bet WWE can let her go for a while to do her thing as Pantha since she hasn’t done too much with the company just yet! But hey, if Warner Bros. decides to write the Superboy Prime storyline, that means we see Pantha’s tragic death, which immediately frees up Daria to get back in the ring again! Everybody’s happy! Still, if it happens, I'd love to someday see Daria live at a WWE event so I can hold up a sign with a picture of Pantha and chant “PANTHA! PANTHA!”
NATHAN KRESS AS FREDDY FREEMAN/SHAZAM, JR.
"Really, Action?! ...Really?!" Yes, I went there! Another iCarly alumni! Now, let me level with you for a sec! I will admit that when I thought of Freddy Freeman, I sort of trolled myself when Freddy from iCarly immediately popped into my head! I thought to myself "C'mon, don't troll yourself like that," but then I got to thinking about it some more, and came to the conclusion that...Freddy's actually a good candidate! Aside from the 23-year-old actor still looking like he's 16, Nathan Kress's Freddy Benson is actually a fair comparison to Freddy Freeman! Both aren't necessarily "happy-go-lucky" characters, but both are friendly down-to-earth guys who make friends easily, not to mention they've had their share of misfortunes! Even Freddy Freeman befriended Billy Batson quickly in school and created a tight bond, which led to the events that granted him the power of Shazam! Sure, he became a cripple in the process and lost his grandfather (THANKS, CAPTAIN NAZI! YOU BASTARD!), but his character traits stay true to his friendly nature (unless Captain Nazi is around! ...Jerk!)! Basically, I assess that Nathan Kress's character on iCarly translates well into Freddy Freeman because of the similarities! Sorry, Nathan, but if I had my way, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A FREDDY! Speaking of which, are there any Nightmare on Elm Street backstory projects happening soon?!
BOBB’E J. THOMPSON AS VIRGIL HAWKINS/STATIC
So it has been established that a Static project is in the works, with the titular role being officially granted to none other than "son of Fresh Prince" Jaden Smith! Now since it's described as a "digital work," that tells me it’s probably gonna be an original series on some streaming program like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, thus technically making it TV Universe, and you know where we stand on that! Therefore, I’m looking to foreshadowing Static in the DCCU and nominating Bobb’e J. Thompson! Another “cute little kid” from the early-2000s, Bobb’e J. has made a name for himself playing the street-smart urban youth who’s not afraid to put adults in their place, even if it means causing a little trouble! Just look at his role as Ronnie Sields in Role Models as a great example! At 20 years old with a youthful appearance and admirable physique, Bobb’e J. can apply his talents to the role of Static very well! Gaining his powers through exposure to a gas spiked with the mutagen Quantum Juice, or “Q-Juice,” Static is described as an “electromagnetic conductor,” having the ability to manipulate and project electrical and magnetic energy for uses like: magnetizing objects, electrocution, or levitating people and objects (like the manhole cover or self-made saucer he uses for flight), to name a few! Considering the character’s upbringing in a gang-infested urban community, Virgil is no stranger to dealing with the criminal element, such as the events that led to the accident that granted him his powers! For that type of character, Bobb’e J. is a great candidate! All he would really need are some dreads (which would be funny to see), but he’s got the resumé and that natural "urban youth" attitude to portray Static better than Jaden Smith would, in my opinion (no disrespect to Jaden, of course)!
DAVIS CLEVELAND AS DAMIAN WAYNE/ROBIN
I consider myself lucky when researching potential roles for this child prodigy! The son of Batman, and grandson of Ra’s al Ghul, Damian Wayne was initially raised and trained by Talia al Ghul and the League of Assassins, molding him a one-man killing machine before even hitting puberty! He would later be introduced to Batman and left under his care for a time, acquiring further training over time and eventually replacing Tim Drake as the new Robin alongside Dick Grayson’s temporary status as Batman! Davis Cleveland is known for his role as Flynn Jones in the Disney Channel series Shake It Up (another SIU actor! HOW BOUT THAT S**T?!)! I picked Davis for three reasons: he’s got the right look and age range at 14 years old, he’s covered high energy and emotion with his performance as Flynn (required traits for Damian Wayne), and (as a surprising bonus from my research) he’s actually active in martial arts! Put it all together, and Davis has great potential for a role as Damian Wayne! Considering how quick Damian Wayne gained popularity since his canon introduction in 2006, this would make Davis Cleveland a breakout star outside of Disney Channel!
OLIVIA HOLT AS LINDA DANVERS/SUPERGIRL
Disclaimer *blah-blah-blah* TV Universe *blah-blah-blah* no to Melissa Benoist! You get the idea by now! Anyway, you'll notice that I did not tag Kara Zor-El as the identity for this casting! I like both iterations of the character, but Kara Zor-El has a home in the TV Universe right now, and since both identities were involved with the Titans at one point or another, that gives Warner Bros. some flexibility, especially since Linda Danvers has yet to be presented in a live-action production (1984’s Supergirl doesn’t count since it’s Kara Zor-El taking the name “Linda” when she comes to Earth)! Not to be confused with the Kara Zor-El iteration that used this design in Superman: the Animated Series, Linda Danvers was a normal girl who, after a series of unfortunate events, was fused with Matrix (a protoplasmic Supergirl) to become the Supergirl you see above! Granted, Linda has undergone more evolutions over time, but this is arguably the character’s most popular incarnation in pop culture! Next, we have 18-year-old Olivia Holt, another Disney Channel actress (not from Shake It Up this time) most known for her role as Karate black belt Kim Crawford in Kickin’ It, so there’s already martial arts established in the actress’s career! It’s also noted that Kim’s character is no “girly girl” except when it comes to impressing a boy she likes! Olivia’s also had superhero exposure as Spider-Girl in Ultimate Spider-Man! So we have a young blonde actress with a fighter, a tomboy, and a superhero on her resumé, all definitely good credentials for Supergirl! All she needs now is a little more muscle and some TLC from the right director, and she’s set!
ELLE FANNING AS TARA MARKOV/TERRA
You know, I started to lean towards Dakota Fanning initially due to her superhero potential from her role as Cassie Holmes in the movie Push! However, when I got to really thinking about it, I figured Dakota’s baby sister Elle might be a better fit! At 18 years of age, Elle’s closer to that target age range than Dakota is (not that Dakota’s THAT much older), and there seems to be more of a sense of innocence in Elle’s look that meshes with Terra’s! In addition, Elle’s no stranger to fantasy and sci-fi, either: English dub voice of Mei Kusakabe in My Neighbor Totoro, Alice Dainard in Super 8, and among her more recent films, Princess Aurora in Maleficent, and Winnie in The Boxtrolls! Beyond that, Elle’s resumé is chock full of enough drama roles to give The Young and the Restless a hernia! The earth-moving Terra’s story is full of betrayal and drama! From psychological issues rooting back to her childhood to fighting the Titans alongside Deathstroke as a spy, Terra’s story is a truly compelling one! Elle has more experience and potential than people probably give her credit for, and whether or not Warner Bros. runs Terra with or against the Titans, Elle’s experience can effectively put a face to the character in the DCCU!
That's all for now! Be on the lookout for a separate article involving more Titans villains! What do you think of my list?! Who would you nominate to be included among the Teen Titans in the DCCU?! Leave your ideas in the comments below, and don't forget to share and subscribe!
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