TNT Passed on DC ‘Titans’ Series Over Akiva Goldsman’s Script
No one was exactly surprised to learn that TNT had passed on an adaptation of DC’s Teen Titans under writer Akiva Goldsman, given how little the project had moved forward in recent months. That said, what stopped TNT from getting into the increasingly-crowed TV superhero game?
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter after the TNT/TBS panel presentations at TCA press tour last week, network head Kevin Reilly offered some insight into the decision to drop Titans development. The network has made at least some push toward producing new series in-house, but shock of shocks, Akiva Goldsman’s Titans script apparently lacked oomph all the same:
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.
Prior to abandoning development, the series was said to feature a real-world take on superheroes Dick Grayson, Raven and Starfire, along with a wheelchair-bound Barbara Gordon and an unrelated male-female Hawk and Dove. Goldsman and Marc Haimes ran point with the series, Goldsman producing with Haimes acting as co-executive producer for Warner Bros. TV’s cable division Warner Horizon.
Back in May 2015, Reilly suggested the series could shoot as early as the summer, offering a few insights into its tone:
I sat down with Akiva and said — and he ultimately agreed — that the [TV] landscape right now is well-serviced on the superhero front. So what space is this going to inhabit? And really what he wants to do is be very true [to comic source material].
[Teen Titans] was a groundbreaking property when it first started. There were consequences to things that happened; it wasn’t somebody died and they moved on. There was the first superhero to be an addict [in Roy Harper’s Speedy]. It’s a coming-of-age story for Robin, who feels like Batman has betrayed him. I think it’s going to end up being a very, very interesting offering. I think it’s going to be excellent.
There’s always the chance that another network opts to take a crack at Titans, with or without Akiva Goldsman, but did TNT miss out on a strong superhero brand? How might the script have failed to live up?