The Arrowverse has had many crossover events through the years, but nothing can top what the franchise did during 2019's Crisis On Infinite Earths. The five-episode crossover event was a cameo-filled affair from start to finish as it paid tribute to past DC movies and TV shows while still showcasing the current projects in a surprising fashion.
The story revolves around the Multiverse's downfall, meaning that there are alternate Earths unveiled during the crossover event. Aside from a notable appearance by the DCEU's Flash played by Ezra Miller, other characters from different DC projects made their presence felt, such as Alexander Knox from Tim Burton's Batman, Tom Welling's Clark Kent from Smallville, and several heroes from Titans.
Although Crisis is the most ambitious DC crossover yet, there are still some significant absences, such as Brendon Thwaites' Dick Grayson from Titans. Now, the actor revealed the true reason behind his absence.
DC Titans Actor Reveals Real Reason Behind 'Crisis' Absence
Titans actor Brenton Thwaites, who portrays Robin in the series, sat down with The Cosmic Circus to talk about why he didn't return as his DC character in The CW's Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event.
During Crisis, Titans' Earth was labeled as Earth-9 and several of Thwaites' co-stars appeared in a brief moment during the first episode's opening sequence.
In the installment, as different Earths are being destroyed, Alan Michael Ritchson's Hawk and Curran Walters' Jason Todd are shown being killed in an instant by the Anti-Monitor's anti-matter wave.
During the Titans panel at Motor City Comic Con, Thwaites confirmed that he decided to not appear in the crossover, citing the fact that they are "creatively a different show:"
Q: "When you had your moment in the Arrowverse “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover, did that sort of feel like a nice warm hug from the larger franchise, that like, “Oh! They’re including us on this!”
BT: "I actually decided not to do that. I mean I know that my image is in it. But I… I declined because of the reason I said before, we’re creatively a different show, and I’m very proud of Titans. You know, all of the people involved, the camera crew, the writers, the producers; And to just bring in another show and crossover and say, let our characters we’ve developed and we’ve brought to the screen – you know, the costumes we’ve designed, the relationships that we’ve developed, the emotional arcs and journeys that we’ve gone on…"
Thwaites continued by saying that a crossover doesn't make sense if "it doesn't really support both storylines:"
"It’s not better or worse, it’s just different, unique. And I find it’s creatively a little bit of a… attention grab, I think, to crossover if it doesn’t really support both storylines. If it does, great. If the stories are really enriched and kind of drawn out and follow this wonderful arc that interweaves with the other then fantastic. But if it’s really just for a cross-promotional thing then it feels funny to be a part of it."
In the interview with The Cosmic Circus, Thwaites further explained his choice, admitting that "it was just not something that [he] wanted to do at the time:"
Cosmic Circus: "Yeah, I really hope it ends up happening. And then switching a little bit over to DC, you mentioned during your Titans panel that you just had, that you declined to film something for “Crisis on Infinite Earths” even though they ended up reusing footage from Titans anyway. And I really liked what you said about how crossovers shouldn’t be an attention grab, they should serve both stories that are crossing over-"
Cosmic Circus: "-so could you elaborate a little bit on what you declined to do for “Crisis”?"
Thwaites: "Um… if you… it’s a different deal thing, right? If you crossover to a different show, they treat it like a different job, and you know you gotta fly to that place, although the studio and whoever’s in charge will make it work, I feel like… you know, you get a choice, right? You get a choice to read the script, to study the project and, you know, to be a part of what you want to be a part of; and uh… it was just not something that I wanted to do at the time. I mean, whether I believed that it should cross over or not, it’s not really beside the point, I just think that… you know, Titans is such a unique show, the way it looks, the way it feels, the characters, and I kind of… I don’t know, I selfishly want to preserve, you know, the uniqueness of that."
Arrowverse's Cameo-Filled Affair
Brenton Thwaites' latest comments make sense from a storytelling standpoint.
Titans has a dark tone from the get-go, and pairing it side by side with the Arrowverse shows would not fit. Despite that, The CW and Warner Bros. still found a way to honor both Titans and the Arrowverse in their own unique way.
Crossovers have been a logistical issue for the Arrowverse, and it's safe to say that Crisis took it up a notch back in 2019 due to its massive ensemble.
Thwaites' remarks about the logistical issue of being involved with Crisis are interesting, mainly because the Titans cameo in the crossover event was just two recycled shots of Ritchson and Walters edited to make it look like the anti-matter wave was killing them. The shots were simply reused from the show's debut episode of Season 2.
That said, it's possible that a bigger role for Thwaites was envisioned back then, but he ultimately decided to decline due to creative issues. Based on how the crossover turned out, it is unknown how Thwaites would fit in the narrative, but he could've been featured in a much longer scene where Earth-9 (the Titans' Earth) is being destroyed by the anti-matter wave.
At this point, there's no telling if Titans would have a proper crossover with the Arrowverse, especially now that multiple shows from the franchise are being canceled. Still, given that the DCEU is pushing the Multiverse to the forefront and alongside the rumors of another Crisis crossover, the possibilities are endless.