The DC Universe series has taken its time evolving Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) from from a disillusioned Robin into his fated superhero alter ego Nightwing. But it’s official: Dick will finally embrace his comic book destiny and suit up as Nightwing in the Titans season 2 finale, appropriately titled “Nightwing.”
EW was at the unveiling of Dick’s Nightwing costume Thursday in Burbank, Calif., in which showrunner Greg Walker, along with costume designer Laura Jean Shannon, announced the news. Walker also explained why it took Titans so long to get to this moment. “It’s such a big deal, becoming [Nightwing], and we didn’t just want him to show up in the suit,” he said. “It had to be a representation of where he evolved as a character over the course of those two seasons.”
Walker then pointed out just how far Dick was from becoming Nightwing when Titans first began. “Where we meet him in episode 1 of the show is, he’s in exile from his dysfunctional relationship with Bruce Wayne [Iain Glen],” Walker said. “He’s really ambivalent about being Robin at all. At one point he burns the suit. So he has a real complicated relationship with the suit… We always felt that he needed to go on season 2 as this kind of journey of recognizing what mistakes he made in the past, assessing himself, trying to figure out his relationship with Bruce, and then evolving past Robin. Because if he’s not Robin anymore, then who he is?”
The goal was always “to navigate a path towards Nightwing,” Walker added of the past two seasons of DC Universe’s flagship series. “It’s a personal journey that he needs to go on. So he goes on this atonement journey in the last third of the season, trying to figure out who he is and what his relationship to heroism is and what his relationship is to the other Titans. That’s what we were going for the whole time. We felt like we needed to think about it on a character level rather than having him show up and be like, ‘Awesome suit, right?’”
But Walker knows the road to Nightwing has been longer than fans may have expected when Titans began. “A lot of fans really wanted him to get in the suit,” he said of Thwaites. “In fact he actually got stopped a lot on the street in Canada, ‘When are you going to be Nightwing?’”
Shannon and her team were the brains behind the finished product, which was built by Creative Character Engineering. She also helps create all the superhero costumes for Doom Patrol, the upcoming DC Universe series Stargirl, and Amazon’s The Boys, so she knows how important these suits are — especially since this is the first time Nightwing is going to be seen in live action. “I want there to be a visceral response to this character,” she said of Nightwing’s costume, which was in development for more than a year and a half from the concept to the final reveal. “I want people to poop their pants.”
The Titans season 2 finale begins streaming Friday, Nov. 29, on DC Universe.