Wednesday, September 6, 2017

TITANS Casts Brenton Thwaits as Nightwing

Deadline has reported that the upcoming DC Comics direct-to-consumer digital service series Titans has cast Brenton Thwaits as Dick Grayson, better known to DC fans as the superhero Nightwing. Thwaits joins Teagan Croft as Raven and Anna Diop as Starfire.

Written by Akiva Goldsman, DC Entertainment’s Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti, Titans follows a group of young soon-to-be superheroes recruited from every corner of the DC Universe.  In the action-adventure series, Dick Grayson emerges from the shadows to become the leader of a fearless band of new heroes that includes Starfire, Raven, and others.

Thwaites, 28, is an Australian actor probably best known as Henry Turner in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and he has appeared in the films Gods of Egypt, Oculus, and Maleficent.  His television appearances include episodes of Home and Away, Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, and Slide.

Johns remarked, "Dick Grayson is one of the most important and iconic heroes in the DC Universe, and it wasn’t easy to find him but we have.  Brenton has the emotional depth, heart, danger and physical presence of Batman’s former protege and the Titans’ future leader.  We’re extremely lucky he’s chosen to bring his talents to this project and this character."

Created in 1984 by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Nightwing first debuted in Tales of the Teen Titans #44 as Richard "Dick" Grayson, a member of the New Teen Titans who gave up his previous superhero identity as Robin and his partnership with Batman.  When the supervillains Deathstroke and Terra kidnapped his fellow Titans, Grayson adopted his new identity of Nightwing after being inspired by Superman telling him the legend of Kryptonian heroes Nightwing and Flamebird.

As Nightwing, Grayson became the protector of Gotham City's neighboring municipality of Blüdhaven, relocating there to investigate a series of murders.  He remained the city's guardian for some time, facing foes such as Blockbuster and new villains such as Torque, dividing his duties between Bludhaven and Gotham after a devastating earthquake and the subsequent decision to declare Gotham a No Man's Land until the city was fully rebuilt.

In the current New 52 continuity, after briefly acting as an agent of the Spyral organization, Grayson has resumed his identity of Nightwing and associated with a vigilante named Raptor in a plan to bring down the Court of Owls from the inside.  Though Raptor seemed willing to play by Grayson's rules of not killing, he tricked Grayson into agreeing to a plan that resulted in the deaths of all of the Parliament of Owls in Sydney.  After defeating Raptor, Nightwing has once again become the protector of Blüdhaven.

Thwaits will be just the third actor to portray Dick Grayson in live-action, after Burt Ward in the Batman television series, and Chris O'Donnell in the movies Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.  Although this will be the first time Grayson's Nightwing identity has appeared in live-action, the character has appeared in a number of animated projects including The New Batman Adventures and Batman and Harley Quinn (voiced by Loren Lester), The Batman (voiced by Jerry O'Connell), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Crawford Wilson), Young Justice (voiced by Jesse McCartney), Batman: Under the Red Hood (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris), and Son of Batman, Batman vs. Robin, Batman: Bad Blood, Justice League vs. Teen Titans, and Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (voiced by Sean Maher).

Titans is expected to debut on DC Comics' digital service sometime in 2018.

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