When the Titans trailer dropped back in July, along with subscriber info for the new DC Universe streaming service, everything about the look and feel of the show seemed to take a backseat to two memorable words: "F*** Batman." The phrase, growled by Thwaites' version of Dick Grayson, immediately launched memes, prompted a response from Gotham's Bruce Wayne, David Mazouz, and set the tone for how fans would respond to the show. Some fans loved it, others thought it was just plain goofy.
For Thwaites, it was a chance to add some emphasis in a key scene in the show, which wasn't originally in place, so the line was "thrown in."
“We’d already shot that alley fight scene before, and there was no punch to it,” Thwaites told Entertainment Weekly. “There was no real exclamation mark. I think the producers wanted something that would kind of set the tone for the whole show.”
So, the infamous two-word phrase was added, and it definitely set a tone, whether you watched that trailer to celebrate or mock the moment. Given that the line was added in to deliver one final punch in that fight scene from the trailer, it's difficult to tell how much of that tone might carry over into the rest of the show, and how much that gritty spirit infused itself into the other charaters. For Thwaites, though, it's a key moment to let audiences know that they shouldn't expect to see Grayson's mentor dropping in to save everyone on his show.
“It’s a show that isn’t about Batman, and I think it’s important for people to know that and maybe not be disappointed that they’re not going to see Batman jumping from the ceiling and beating up a hundred guys, because it’s not Batman, it’s a story about the Titans, essentially," he said. "I feel like ‘F*** Batman’ says that in two words.”
There are certainly nicer ways to let Batman know he's not wanted on your show, but dropping an F-bomb in your first trailer is certainly a memorable alternative. In all seriousness, though, it does present a very specific image of the kind of Dick Grayson we're going to see, for better or for worse. Titans, to its credit, established that from the jump.
Titans premieres October 12 on DC Universe.