The new DC Universe series “Titans” is kicking off with a major bang after the caped crusader’s trusty sidekick, Robin, sent comic book fans into a tailspin by declaring “F— Batman” in its trailer.
And the show’s star told Fox News it was no accident. Brenton Thwaites, a 29-year-old Australian actor, said the infamous line came from DC writer Geoff Johns' “subconscious.”
“He put that line in to give the fight scene a little bit of humor... but also to give the audience a taste of what the show’s going to be like,” he explained. “It’s a show that, although we all love Batman and we love that storyline, it’s about a character that’s trying to break away from his relationship with Batman and he has a lot of trouble doing that.
“And basically in the Robin costume, there’s a lot of pent-up anger and frustration… And he kind of released it in a way that he doesn’t feel comfortable about. So I think two in one, it was cool to say that line to get the fans hyped up about our show but also to inform them of the tone of ‘Titans.’”
“Titans,” which also stars Minka Kelly of “Friday Night Lights” fame, explores how a team of young superheroes unite to combat evil and other perils. And while the show is set to premiere Friday, it has already sparked criticism for its darker, more violent storyline.
Kelly, 38, who suited up as Dove, told Fox News both longtime fans of the origin stories and curious viewers alike should still tune in and see for themselves.
“It’s great that they’re responding so passionately. That’s good,” she said. “But I think that they’ll be happy to know that Geoff Johns, [executive producer] Akiva Goldsman and the writers have created a really great balance between all of that darkness when also keeping the superhero aspect of it. This is a very new… take on this world and this genre. … And so with anything new, there’s going to be a little resistance just because it might be a little foreign. But change is good. It’s much more grown up and a lot more fun.”
Kelly also shared that while “Titans” is more brutal, the story is also “more realistic.”
But the show’s gritty approach to the DC world wasn’t the only reason why it has been slammed by some viewers. In July, ET Online reported Kelly took to Instagram and defended her co-star Anna Diop after the actress was bombarded with cruel, racist comments in response to her portrayal of Starfire.
Kelly said speaking out and standing with the 30-year-old was a no-brainer.
“I just reacted instinctively,” she explained. “And I just felt like they needed to be reminded that they haven’t seen the finished product yet. … I think they’ll be really happy with the work that we’ve created and with the work that Anna has done. She’s created an incredible character. … And I just want to scream from the mountaintops how incredible she is and the work she’s done and how much I think everyone will love her.”
These days, Thwaites and Kelly are more interested in letting The Boy Wonder shine.
“We’ve seen a bunch of different Batman movies which are great and we all love,” said Thwaites. “But I think it’s exciting to see a new storyline in the same world come to fruition. These guys have been working on this for over seven years. And their ideas were to create a show that was a little darker and showed colors from these characters… And thankfully this service, DC Universe, allowed it to be written in a free way so they could get away with doing that.”
Still, bringing “Titans” to life wasn’t so simple. Thwaites admitted some of the fight scenes in costume proved to be difficult at times.
“Our first fight scene that we had together, we were fighting in a place in Toronto called the Hearn,” he said. “I called it ‘The Hernia’ because it was kind of like having a hernia shooting in there. And the first time we shot in there it was minus 25 degrees and it was a problem. We couldn’t shoot for an extended period of time because it was so cold. And our suits were fantastic but they really… They’re thin material suits. So shooting in the cold became a thing.”
Kelly had an easier time transforming into a winged superhero.
“I just had to find my way around maneuvering with the wings,” she said. “I have a cape of wings that’s about 30 pounds. So when it comes to fighting, you have to sort of learn the way it throws its weight around. But I have an incredible stunt double who’s mastered it. So I’m off the hook.”
The pair insisted that despite the sinister world of “Titans,” they quickly bonded on set.
“She has a really grounded nature about her,” said Thwaites about Kelly. “And it’s a must-have in a show like this because it offers an insight into what her character is… but also what she’s like fighting crime. And I found it really hard to bridge the difference, to break into that heightened reality, comic book fighting crime kind of world. That was a challenge for me. But I saw it so clearly in Minka.”
“I was just very surprised by Brenton’s quiet strength and presence on the show,” gushed Kelly. “… It can be really easy into playing into being a superhero…. [He] made it seem effortless.”
“I was quietly practicing being strong for a long time,” joked Thwaites. “Right now in fact.”
“Titans” premieres Oct. 12 on DC Universe, with new episodes arriving every Friday.