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TNT is hopping on the comic book wave.
The Turner-owned cable network is nearing a pilot-production order for Titans, a drama based on a group of super heroes-to-be, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
From Warner Horizon Television and DC Comics, the drama hails from writers Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend, Lobo) and Marc Haimes. Goldsman will exec produce, while Haimes will serve as a co-EP.
Based on characters from DC Comics, Titans revolves around a group of young superheroes-to-be who are recruited from every corner of the DC universe. The action-themed drama centers on Dick Grayson, who emerges from the shadow of Batman to become Nightwing, the leader of a fearless band of new superheroes including Starfire, Raven and more. The show is described as a dramatic adventure series that will explore and celebrate one of the most popular comic book titles ever.
The team of teen superheroes first appeared in a 1964 issue of The Brave and the Bold as a “Junior Justice League” featuring Robin (aka Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West) and Aqualad (Garth). They were later joined by Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) and Green Arrow’s sidekick, Speedy (Roy Harper).
The series was revived in 1980 and relaunched as The New Teen Titans, aging the characters to young adults. Robin, Wonder Girl and Kid Flash were replaced by Cyborg, Starfire and Raven, among others. The comic has gone through several incarnations in the years since, with concurrent series Titans launching in 2008 featuring members including Nightwing, Cyborg and Raven. It’s unclear which additional DC characters could be introduced in TNT’s adaptation.
TNT’s Titans marks the latest small-screen version to come from the title. Cartoon Network aired an animated Teen Titans series based on the 1980s team from 2003-06 that returned as a series of shorts on the cabler’s DC Nation Cartoon Network block.
Titans becomes the latest in a rapidly growing roster of comic-themed TV fare from DC and Warner Bros. Television. In addition to The CW’s Arrow, WBTV and DC are launching four new shows this season alone: Arrow spinoff The Flash at CW; Fox’s Batman-themed drama Gotham; NBC’s Hellblazer take Constantine; and CW’s female-led iZombie take. They join a roster of Marvel fare including ABC’s Agents of SHIELD and midseason bridge show Agent Carter as well as Netflix’s upcoming Daredevil and more.
Titans is the latest DC comic title to be adapted this development season. WBTV is also readying a new take on Supergirl from Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler that is being taken out to networks.
Comic book titles have become all the rage not only at the box office but on the small screen as networks look to capitalize on existing fan bases to lure eyeballs as films like Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy continue to win wide appeal.
For Goldsman, meanwhile,Titans becomes his latest foray into TV. The Fringe alum is also prepping a TV adaptation of 1990 feature Ghost for Paramount TV and has slave drama Underground in the works at WGN America. (Worth noting: WGN America is also prepping Titans, a 13-episode Appalachia drama from Peter Tolan and Paul Giamatti.)
Goldsman is repped by WME and Hansen Jacobson
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