The Titans series will bring a handful of legendary DC Comics heroes to the small screen on DC's upcoming exclusive streaming service, and Dick Grayson will be the leading man. We've known that Dick was on the way ever since the project was announced, but the only casting announcements have been about other Titans. Now, we finally know the identity of the man who will bring adult Dick Grayson to live action TV for the first time in a very long time: 28-year-old Brenton Thwaites of Pirates of the Caribbean fame.
Dick Grayson is one of the most recognizable names in DC Comics history, having made his debut back in 1940, and Titans will bring a brand new incarnation of him to television. The Titans version of Dick was orphaned at a young age when his parents were murdered in their acrobatic circus act, and he was taken in by billionaire Bruce Wayne, who was secretly Batman, and trained Dick to become his sidekick. Batman and Robin fought crime together for many years, but Dick was having a difficult time escaping Batman's shadow as he got older. Eventually, he left Batman behind and formed a team of his own to become a leader, mentor, and father figure to other heroes in need of a family of their own.
If that story sounds familiar to you, you've probably seen Dick Grayson in action on another project, whether in the comics or in animated series like Young Justice and Batman: The Animated Series or even Batman '66. Given that a baby Dick Grayson hasn't been born yet on Gotham, Brenton Thwaites' version of the character may be the first to hit live action in quite a while.
Titans will evidently stay true to the beginning of the classic Robin origin story, which features poor Dick being orphaned at a circus, taken in by Bruce Wayne, and trained to become a crime-fighter despite his lack of superpowers by the Dark Knight himself. It's Dick's departure from Bruce's side that may be taking the character in a brand new direction. In the comics, he did eventually leave Bruce to shed the Robin persona and take on the new superhero identity of Robin.
Different stories have presented different versions of the split, ranging from an amicable parting of the ways to an explosive split after a fight. We'll have to wait and see how Titans plays the separation between Batman and his former Boy Wonder. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a serious rift between them, if only so Titans has a good reason for not featuring the Dark Knight. Interestingly, the announcement of Brenton Thwaites' casting doesn't mention the Nightwing persona. Perhaps Dick Grayson will adopt his Nightwing identity for the first time when he starts his own team. After all, a hero whose name is synonymous with "Boy Wonder" might not have the gravitas to serve as a mentor and father figure. Only time will tell.
Brenton Thwaites is best known for his role as Henry Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which debuted in theaters earlier this year. He also had roles in Gods of Egypt and Maleficent. He's obviously no stranger to playing fantastical roles; a superhero could be right up his alley. Thwaites joins a cast already comprised of comprised of Anna Diop as Starfire and Teagan Croft as Raven. The show is set to premiere on DC Comics' direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2018.