PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — DC fans are gearing up for season 3 of Titans.
The first two seasons started on the DC Universe, season three is transitioning to HBO Max.
WMBD’s Matt Sheehan spoke with the series’ showrunner, Greg Walker, about the changes fans could see this season.
QUESTION: Talk about the transition into HBO Max. What have you seen that’s different in this season that’s different and new than seasons 1 and 2?
“Fans will notice a huge push in publicity. I just noticed a billboard on the way home driving from downtown LA, you feel this muscular presence, push to get the show out there. A lot of enthusiasm,” Walker said. “We had it before with the DCU, but it was a smaller house, a smaller shop. Now, this is the fuller force of the big network behind us, we feel it.”
Sheehan: “The set, the location, the videography all look very crisp and very new. It has new energy, even the music scores have a new vibe to me. Is there anything you’ve noticed in season 3 that is different than the past two seasons in that regard?”
“Moving to Gotham meant looking at the show in a different way. San Fransisco is a gentler town, it didn’t have the edges that Gotham has. We didn’t want to pull any punches with Gotham. With music, we had extensive meetings about how we wanted the sound of Gotham to be from a score level,” Walker said. “Also from sound design. Also looking at what Wayne manor is going to look like. How we’re going to do the Batcave.”
Walker said they really “buffed” out the Batcave.
“We also expanded the world of Gotham,” Walker said.
Faced with the Pandemic, Titans had to adjust to filming during lockdowns.
Walker said the show’s third season has a strong theme, fear.
“We were able to tell a story that we wanted to tell about Gotham, which is a town where people are constrained by fear. Fear dominates all. It’s not safe to go outside and it’s a town where there are areas of hope, but there’s also a lot of people stuck in fear,” Walker said.
Sheehan: “A lot of people are wondering if season 3 is the best season yet? What’s your opinion on that?
“I hope they think so, I hope they like it. We worked hard. You’ve seen some episodes, I think this season will do the talking for itself,” Walker said.
Sheehan: Many Titans fans are interested in the relationship of two of Titans‘ main characters, Dick Grayson/Nightwing (played by Brenton Thwaites) and Koriand’r/Starfire (played by Anna Diop). What can you tell us about their dynamic in season 3? A lot of people want to see them back romantically.
“I love the fans’ passion for that. It’s in the books, but there’s also real chemistry between them. They’re the mom and dad of the team. There’s a lot of good reasons to want them to be together,” Walker said. “Dramatically, we explore both of the characters individually. I felt while there is a real promise in the Dick/Kory relationship, I want to explore more of Kory. We go into her past, why she is who she is, and why she was sent.”
Walker said we also will see Kory interact with her elder sister, Blackfire who is from the planet of Tamaran.
But Walker did say…
“There are some bombshells dropped, at least one, about Dick and Kory. Anyone with a keen eye will be able to determine where we want to go with that,” Walker said.
One of the newest characters introduced in season 3 is Tim Drake, Batman’s newest Robin. Drake is played by Jay Lycurgo, who Walker said adds a ton of energy to the show.
“Buoyant. He’s so charismatic. He has so much craft as an actor. He really captures that energy as Tim Drake,” Walker said. “We’ve had three energetic presences of people who were more on the innocent side. We had Gar, we had Jason Todd, and now we have Tim Drake. People, who are enamored with the idea of the adult male superhero and what does it mean?”
Walker said a lot of the characters are creations of Geoff Johns.
“He’s an iconic creator in the comic book space. It really captures Geoff’s energy. Anytime you have a story of someone who loves this myth, you really want to poke the myth and let the air out of it,” Walker said. “That’s what Jay was able to capture so well is Tim Drake’s love for Batman, Robin, and the Titans.”
Walker also said to watch Lycurgo’s TikTok if you want to have some fun.
Sheehan: Are there gonna be any other new characters or old characters we might see brought back in from the past seasons?
“Good question. We have Jonathan Crane (Scarecrow), played by Vincent Kartheiser. That’s a major character who will explode across the screen. He’s a guy who really brought his A-game every day, that was fun,” Walker said. “We also have Barbara Gordon. A terrific addition to the season, played by Savannah Welch. She knocks it out of the park. She’s someone who has used a wheelchair, it was important to us to find somebody that had that experience.”
Walker said there are people from canon, but he doesn’t think any other characters from season 1 or 2 will return in season 3.
Sheehan: People are excited about Red Hood. That backstory is very important in DC lore. Talk about the inspiration behind Curran Walters’ Jason Todd/Red Hood combo. We’ve got Batman: The Killing Joke, Batman Arkham Knight, and also the comics Death in the Family. Are there any specific places you guys have pulled from for this character with Curran Walters, or is this brand new Red Hood?
“I don’t think it’s brand new Red Hood. There are definitely comics we’re pulling from that people will notice,” Walker said. “More from an origin notion. Where we start and what we do with it will go our own way.”
Walker said that motto is true for a lot of the characters and is why the audience connects to these superheroes.
“You’ll notice Jason’s descent into Red Hood is a little different than how it happens in the book, but a lot of the reasons are built both in our show and in the books,” Walker said.
Many people want to know how long Titans will go and will the universe expand?
“As long as they ring the bell, we’ll show up to fight,” Walker said. “There’s a lot of stories to tell. We could cycle back and tell different stories. The world is rich and expansive and we’ll keep doing it as long as we can.”
Sheehan: Is there talk of any spinoffs?
While Walker couldn’t dive into it, he did say… “I wouldn’t be surprised if they (Doom Patrol) appeared on screen in our shows.”
Sheehan: A lot of people want to know if we’ll see an upgrade to Kory’s powers and more into her backstory.
“It’s a good question. I’m interested in it too. Who is Starfire? How’d she get to become who she is? Why is there such a problem with her sister and family? Why was she chosen to come (to Earth)? Talk about a spin-off, we could do a Kory story. We could make it be both present, past, and future. That character is so rich, done by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. She’s an insanely detailed and nuanced character. Plus we have Anna Diop playing the character who is an amazing actress,” Walker said.
Walker said Diop brings so much commitment, struggle, and humanity to the character.
“Titans is really focused a lot on struggle. That’s what Marv and George brought to it. It’s not just a sidekick book. It was a book about kids struggling with parents and trying to come into their own. If we’ve embraced one thing, it’s that struggle,” Walker said.
Sheehan: What’s your favorite thing about the series?
“There’s so much I love about this show. We’ve created a family in Toronto, we’ve created a family on-screen. It’s challenging, it taxes you and keeps you up late at night,” Walker said. “I just saw it when I was watching an episode last night is this real sense of hope that comes with unity. When we get it, and we really push against it and break them up all the time. That makes the feeling of coming together that much stronger. That’s what this season is all about. Finding a place of hope in a place that feels hopeless.”
Walker said creating Titans has been a struggle itself.
“It’s taken five years to do three seasons,” Walker said. “This year alone was 20 months to do 13, and we’re still cutting. It never stops. You have to really find what you think is important about the story to keep a fresh perspective.”
Like many superhero shows, Titans has a very strongly opinionated fanbase. The fans have always had a lot of different feelings about the creators’ decisions, and Walker says they’re very vocal, too.
“We love the passion. We love the fan’s commitment to beating us up, letting us know where we failed, and letting us know when we’ve done well. They’re vocal and they’re out there in the world, we don’t have to look far or hard to get it,” Walker said.
Walker said the creators have to approach the mission of Titans so carefully because a lot of the fans have grown up with the characters.
Sheehan: What went into the creation of Iain Glen’s Batman/Bruce Wayne and how is it the perfect role for Titans?
“You look at a guy like Iain, and what I see is a guy who has lived. He’s been through a lot. He doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter or the model that we’ve known in previous Batmans,” Walker said. “But what he brings is experience and life. So much about what we try to do is question, “Why am I a superhero?” This Bruce Wayne is a guy who has transported his tragedy into violence and been an artisan of that. He raised sons doing the same thing, and he’s now realizing that the legacy isn’t quite working out. That there’s a failure in parenting that he’s had.”
Walker said the books didn’t explore, but Titans is able to.
“Iain is the perfect character for that. You can see that struggle,” Walker said. “Batman has taken violence to a high art, but he struggles as a father, as many of us do. What’s brilliant about Iain’s performance is that struggle.”
Sheehan is currently in talks with Warner Bros. to perform cast interviews.
There are five Titans fan-favorite actors and actresses who he plans to interview throughout the show’s third season.
Titans can be found on HBO Max. The first three episodes will drop Thursday, Aug. 12.
You can currently catch both seasons 1 and 2 on HBO Max.