Although Warner Brothers and DC Entertainment have been keeping their film and television series in their own separate universes, there is some speculation circulating that a former TV project could be morphing into a movie.
TV Line is reporting that despite cable outlet TNT recently passing on a proposed TV series featuring the DC Comics superhero team the Teen Titans, DC still has plans for the group.
[W]hen we chatted up DC Entertainment CCO Geoff Johns at TCA — just days after TNT let slip the bad news — he shared, “We [at DC] have known about [Turner nixing Titans] for months and months and months. That’s not new news to us.” The silver lining: Regardless of the basic cabler’s decision, “We have plans for Titans,” Johns asserted. “It’s a huge piece of DC and we have plans.”
For the uninitiated, the Teen Titans are a superhero group composed of members who aren’t quite old enough to legally buy a beer. The group first appeared back in 1964 and over the years has been mainly comprised of the younger sidekicks of DC Comics’ big name heroes like Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Aqualad and Green Arrow’s protege, Speedy. The superhero Cyborg premiered in the first issue of the popular 1980s revival of the series.
Johns statement does sound like the usual vague, corporate-speak designed to not poison the brand name of any property that a studio is trying to turn into a film or television series that they hope to shop around after having it turned down by one potential buyer. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t more to things than what is being said. On the other hand, people may read more into that statement than what is actually there. For instance, Bleeding Cool is reporting that there are rumors floating that a Teen Titans film “might take the place of the Cyborg 2019 big screen solo outing with the character joining the team.”
I have to admit that I am not particularly confident that this rumor is legit. First off, there is no sourcing for it. Even if Bleeding Cool was citing anonymous sources of theirs within the film industry, there would be at least a modicum of authority to the story. But for all we know this could be a case of someone in a chat room randomly speculating that maybe Warner Brothers would do such a thing and then that speculation being transformed into a “I heard that Warner Brothers is going to…”-style rumor. (We’ll leave the fact that Bleeding Cool got the Cyborg film’s projected release year wrong.)
But on a more practical level, with the Oscar So White controversy still an ongoing concern, I think that the folks at Warner Brothers would be thinking long and hard about the optics of changing a film that was meant to be a showcase for an African American superhero character into one that placed him as part of a team, minimizing him as a character. And not only would making Cyborg a member of an ensemble rather than a solo lead marginalize the character, it is redundant. We will have already seen him as a team player in the two-part Justice League film in 2017 and 2019. It doesn’t make much sense to spin him off onto a second team. And that’s before you start factoring in that he is a little past the age requirement to be a “Teen” Titan.
Now granted, Johns did say “Titans” without the “Teen” part. So maybe there is a loophole there. There have been iterations of the team where the members were all in their 20s and shed the “Teen” part of the group name. Something to watch in the future, I suppose.
But for now, Cyborg is scheduled for an April 3, 2020 release.