Could a Teen Titans movie be more successful than Justice League: Mortal? Both films deal with a motley group of DC Universe superheroes, with aliens rubbing shoulders with pulp detectives and Amazons. But the sidekicks-on-their-own franchise Titans could have one major strength that Justice League lacks: a single identifiable main character, who has a story arc that audiences can relate to. Screenwriter Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica) spilled some story details in a new interview.
Justice League's greatest strength — the fact that it has Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and four other pretty well-known heroes — could also be its greatest weakness, since it's hard to tell a compelling story that gives all seven of them enough screen time.
Titans, meanwhile, is the story of a bunch of teen sidekicks without their mentors, including Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Aqualad and Green Arrow's sidekick (who has as many codenames as trackmarks on his arm.) The comics have thrown a number of other characters into the mix, including Cyborg (who's just what he sounds like), Starfire (an alien princess) and Beast Boy (a bright green shapeshifter.)
But the star of the Titans movie, from the hints Verheiden dropped, would definitely be Batman's sidekick, Robin. It sounds, reading between the lines, as if the film would be a coming-of-age story, in which Robin strikes off on his own, away from the shadow of Batman's massive swoopy cape, and goes on an adventure with his teenage friends. Both Robin and his grown-up identity, Nightwing, will be in the film. (This could also mean that two different Robins are in the film, but I doubt it somehow.) Verheiden explains:
We'll also be dealing with a transitional period in the lives of the Teen Titans. It will be a huge, fun, action movie but it's the characters first... It also won't be the Titans as young adults or anything. ... It's no secret Robin is in this movie, so what if you were him, after living in the shadow of Bruce Wayne and Batman, and now you wanted to go off on your own and become your own man, your own superhero? That's got to be a huge thing to overcome.
Verheiden says he turned in a draft of the Titans script to Warner Bros. before the writers' strike happened, and they sent some feedback. And now he's working on another pass. His goal is to make the Titans "as real as possible," and make them believable in our world, as much as teenagers with superpowers can be, with "heightened realism." And there will be "strong adversaries, or antagonists," but the main focus of the movie will be on the characters, who are at "the cusp of adulthood." [ComicMix]