When it’s been a while since the last time you’ve seen a project botched from the very get-go, it’s easy to forget what exactly that looks like.
And then you see the first trailer for Titans, and you remember: Oh, THIS is what a surefire disaster looks like.
Sprung upon an unsuspecting populace Thursday afternoon, the trailer for DC Universe’s live action web series looks like something thrown together by a posse of film students without much of a budget to speak of—that, or an aborted attempt by The CW to adapt DC’s classic teenage superhero team that was abandoned halfway through. Watch it and weep.
It’s hard to start anywhere else than Dick Grayson’s casual “F**k Batman” one-liner, an attitude that doesn’t really make a ton of sense, given that he’s still going by Robin rather than his adult incarnation as Nightwing. But at least Robin looks alright, yeah? Brenton Thwaites, despite being a 28-year-old “teen” and a veteran of such terrible films as Gods of Egypt and Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, at least fills out a decent-looking Robin suit in the ways that you would expect. The rest of the team, though? It’s one disasterpiece after another.
Look at Starfire, for Christ’s sake. An orange-skinned alien named Koriand’r from across the leagues of space, she’s here portrayed by … a woman in a horrendous, curly wig, firing generic balls of fire rather than anything looking close to her signature “starbolts.” Beast Boy receives similar treatment—instead of being green-skinned and, you know, animalistic, he’s instead rendered as some white kid with green hair. Hey DC Universe, here’s a thought: If you have no money in the budget to portray characters that look, sound and feel anything like their popular comic and animated source material, maybe don’t go through with an adaptation of that property?
The cheapness, in fact, extends to every inch of this maddeningly dark, shadowy trailer, in which there doesn’t appear to be a single well-lit daytime scene. It flies in the face of previous animated adaptations of the Teen Titans—including the feature film that is about to hit theaters, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies—by reimagining the series as yet another dour, hopeless series about attractive, pouting teens, drenched in a Zack Snyder-esque wave of GrimDark.
One can only assume that the source of Batman and Robin’s falling out was that Bruce Wayne got a look at Titans and disowned him. And we’ve got to side with the Caped Crusader on this one.