Despite reports from earlier this year that DC would keep its TV and Movie Universes separate, it has not discouraged DC's small-screen efforts. In fact, quite the opposite has happened, as recently DC has been making waves on the small screen. After the recent premiere of "Gotham," and upcoming premieres of [The Flash](series:1068303), [Arrow](series:720988) Season 3, and [Constantine](movie:874314) in October, DC's television efforts have expanded rapidly from the past year (not to mention CW's adaptation of the Vertigo Comic, 'iZombie'). In addition to this, DC has recently announced that they will continue to expand their television offerings next year, revealing that CBS has given a 'Supergirl' show a series commitment, and Fox has ordered a pilot for the Vertigo Comics story "Lucifer." The CW is also reported to be developing an 'Hourman' TV show, and NBC has expressed interest in a Spectre series (the Spectre's alter-ego Jim Corrigan has already been cast in NBC's upcoming "Constantine"). Despite all this DC comics news, the one headline that caught me most by surprise was that TNT is nearing a pilot order for 'Titans.'
Based on the Teen Titans comics, the 'Titans' TV show would have Nightwing lead a band of new heroes (reportedly including Starfire, Raven and "many others"). Staples of the Teen Titans also include Cyborg, Beast Boy, Miss Martian, Kid Flash, Superboy, Wonder Girl, and Arsenal / Red Arrow. One of the most popular and recognizable incarnations of the team was in the 2003 "Teen Titans" animated cartoon on Cartoon Network and its spiritual successor "Teen Titans Go!"(which has been met with mixed critical reception).
'Titans' stuck out as the most interesting extension of DC's television efforts, because of the potential conflict with other DC properties. Arrow has managed to side-step addressing the issue of the existence of the Cinematic characters (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Shazam and presumably Green Lantern), by simply avoiding it, but this will be a bigger issue on TNT's new series. Nightwing cannot exist without Batman, and therefore a different Batman from Ben Affleck's must have a presence in this television universe. In addition, Arsenal, Kid Flash, Impulse, and notably Deathstroke (the Titan's arch-nemesis), are off-limits, because in the case of Arsenal and Deathstroke, they have already been portrayed on Arrow, while the Flash producers have expressed an interest in bring on one of the Flash's sidekicks to their show down the road. Another major Titans villain, the Hive Organization, have been referenced on Arrow and would therefore presumably be off-limits as well. Cyborg, an essential character in the Teen Titans mythos has his origins tied to Star Labs, a company which plays a large role in the upcoming Flash series. Due to the conflicting nature of the show, I was initially skeptical about its.
With Arrow and the Flash (both on the CW) being the exception, it is assumed that all DC TV properties premiering on different networks will remain independent. However, today I stumbled upon this article from ScreenRant, describing how the notion of 'Titans' and "Arrow" existing in the same universe was not out of the realm of possibility. In an AdWeek interview, the CW president, Mark Pedowitz explained that there is potential for cross-network crossovers between TNT and CW (who are sister channels; both owned by Time Warner, and WB). When asked about a potential 'Titans' and Arrow Crossover, he stated;
“What you’ll see embedded in Flash and Arrow is that we’ll have the ability to test characters out. Is there room to grow them into the next show? I cannot tell you yet. There are discussions going on.”
While 'Titans' and Arrow connecting is not set in stone, it is no longer outside of the realm of possibility. In fact, its sensible that TNT (a cable network) would broadcast 'Titans,' due to the heavy special effects budget necessary to follow a team of superheroes. By combining the two shows, 'Titans' is far less constrained by other DC properties and has access to important characters in the DC Universe. Imagine Manu Bennet's Deathstoke facing off against a band of heroes lead by [Nightwing](movie:1069726), or Cyborg fighting alongside the Flash.
An Upcoming Nightwing Fan Series
What do you guys think about the shows being connected? Specifically, if they crossover, what are you excited to see play out on the small-screen? Leave your comments below!