The Teen Titans originally formed as a team made up almost entirely of sidekicks to have their own adventures separate from their more grown-up guardians. The books were aimed at younger readers, even in a time when almost all comics skewed young, but as the years went by, and the readers grew up, the team began to be alternately called The Titans (which was appropriate since several of the members were in their 20s or even 30s).
However not one of these characters has been introduced into mainstream DC movies, even being left out of most of the animated movies that go direct-to-DVD and Blu-Ray. But that hasn't stopped rampant speculation in Hollywood about bringing the youngest team this side of the Power Pack to the silver screen, and it certainly won't stop me from speculating even MORE wildly about who should take the helm and who should step into the shoes of the team. As a side-note: I chose the cartoon roster for the team not for any particular reason other than if you're going to do an ensemble film, it shouldn't be more than five characters.== TEASER ==
This might appear to be an odd choice unless you're up on current events and realize that Mr. Scorsese has just directed and released a children's movie called Hugo to rave reviews. Now I'm not saying Teen Titans needs to be a kid's film, in fact it probably should straddle PG/PG-13, but one of the most difficult things in moviemaking is directing young actors to give vibrant, emotional performances.
The thing that would absolutely kill this movie is a wooden performance from a flat, unemotional cast of late-teen/early-twenty year olds, and if there's one thing that Scorsese has proven over the years, it's his ability to get deep performances out of any caliber of actor. This isn't to say the actors could be just anyone since they'll have Scorsese to lean on, but even great actors can give terrible performances under the right (wrong) circumstances.
Best known for playing Chekov in the new Star Trek, Kyle Reese in the new Terminator and...the kid from Fright Night in the new Fright Night, but he's shown a great capacity for emotional range as well as playing much younger than he actually is (in his mid-20s an dcan easily play high school), so I think he could pull off the Boy Wonder striking out on his own. But that's the other question: which incarnation of Robin would be leading this Titans incarnation?
Canonically it should be Dick Grayson, but he's tied so inexorably to Batman that having him left out of the movies while throwing him in here would be disingenuous. Likewise, Grayson's costume would never make the transition to the big-screen in anything but a parody or a revival of the old 60s Batman (at which point just bite the bullet and bring back Burt Ward, why not?), and to both those ends I think Tim Drake would be the best choice. Obviously he's still tied to Batman, but I'm talking about pre-Identity Crisis when his father was still alive, so Bats hadn't yet become his adoptive parent. Tim's detective skills would also ensure that writers could create conflicts more complex than those that simply need to be punched away.
Something that's easy to lose sight of in the midst of Kori'ander's...questionable costume choice is that underneath it, she's actually a fairly plucky, sprightly and somewhat naive person. To that end, I wanted to avoid casting an obvious "sexpot"-type actress, and go for someone with a little bit more wide-eyed enthusiasm and innocence that was coupled with the ability to exert a commanding presence when needed (her 5'5" frame isn't exactly imposing, but it's still taller than the average woman, for instance). And really, did you SEE The Guild? Wide-eyed enthusiasm is this woman's bread-and-butter. And like the actors below and above, I think she can play much younger than she actually is thanks to the perpetual smile and babyface.
As for versions, I definitely think that this Starfire should be pre-New-52. The orange skin color might look a little silly on-camera (Oompa Loompa comparisons would be unavoidable and show up in every single lazy critic's review), so the best way to handle that would be to steer into it, so to speak. Just own it, don't tip-toe around it, don't pretend like it isn't there, maybe even hvae Beast Boy throw in a straight-up reference to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I think with an actress like Day, it could be doable.
From Michael Cera knock-off to legitimate superstar in one role (or maybe two depending on who you ask), Jesse Eisenberg has shown a unique ability to take a fairly well-worn archetype (the stammering, perpetually put-upon, nerd) and add his own twist on it.
Beast Boy, whether you're going by the cartoon or the comic book, has more often than not been the comic relief, but he's rarely ever been so one-dimensional as to be that alone. He's experienced some of the greatest tragedies of the entire team, so casting a comedic actor would be too much of a risk as people need to be able to laugh AND cry with our green friend. In fact that should be the center of his performance: the dizzying highs and wrenching lows.
I'm not saying he needs to go through all that in one movie, it would be disingenuous, but who says only one of these is getting made?
The apple of Scott Pilgrim's eye has more than shown her capacity for sullen, weary performances and that's what makes her absolutely perfect to play the gothic, dour Raven. But unlike Ramona Flowers, Raven's subdued, cynical outlook can be played for laughs as easily as it can be taken seriously and to that end, it needs an actress who can be the "straight-woman" to someone like Beast Boy's off-the-wall antics.
The only person in the room who's not in one the joke and doesn't even really care to be in on it, which is why I chose Winstead. Even just looking at her eyes as Flowers (I keep coming back to that performance because I think it was her most nuanced), she had the look of someone who was trying to be nonchalant about a massive, possibly world-shattering secret and being the daughter of a demon lord...definitely qualifies.
Certainly more than having seven evil exes, even if one of them IS powered by veganism.
The man who would be Peter Parker (and might be Miles Morales if those photo-ref rumors are true) could bring a certain degree of levity to the tragic Cyborg. Though not known as a jokester in the comics, I'd see the movie cyborg as a bit more like the cartoon version: less self-hating "woe-is-me for my lot in life" and more upbeat and enthusiastic about his second lease on life. He wouldn't have to start that way, having over half of one's body replaced with robotic parts deserves to be both dramatic and traumatic, again not all these changes need to appear in the space of a single movie, I'm casting in the long-term.
Glover has shown a shockingly wide range in both Community and Mystery Team, even though those were primarily comedic roles. And honestly? If I tried hard enough, I could just make this entire movie a Community reunion.
The latest James Bond can definitely take a sinister turn (check out Layer Cake for proof of this) but even playing the heroic super spy, Craig brought a level of pathos and determination to the normally ultra-suave spy that hadn't been seen since...ever really.
Asking him to play Deathstroke would take SOME doing because I don't like anyone playing a role within their natural age range apparently, Craig is only 43 after all, but gray hair and a gray goatee along with some minor make-up would do the trick just fine from where I'm sitting. More than that, though, he is fully capable of embodying someone who is simultaneously on the bleeding edge of power and about to collapse under the weight of that very power.
Deathstroke can't always be slick and one step ahead, it makes him boring and it makes any victory the Titans get over him seem completely absurd, so Craig would need to show Slade's age, he'd need to juxtapose his brutal action with near-exhaustion when he's not "on," so to speak.