At this year’s Motor City Comic Con, I had the incredible opportunity to speak with actor Brenton Thwaites about the future of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and his role as Dick Grayson/Nightwing.
Thwaites has been portraying Batman’s original protege on Titans since 2018, but he’s still up for a solo movie as long as there’s a fresh story to tell. Speaking of movies, he’d also love to see the cast of Dead Men Tell No Tales reunite for a sixth adventure on the high seas…
More from the Titans leading man in my exclusive interview with Thwaites below…
Uday Kataria: So first of all, I’m a huge Pirates of the Caribbean fan, and I really loved your role as Henry Turner in the fifth movie. Is that a role you could ever see yourself returning to, either as the lead of your own movie or in Margot Robbie’s spinoff movie?
Brenton Thwaites: Oh, that’ll be interesting…that’ll be interesting. Yeah, I think he could play! I think there’s a way to fit him in there if it’s the right time period, right? If they… you know if they’re 100 years before or after, certainly not. But if it’s the right thing, and they want me in there, I’ll be there.
UK: What would your dream cast be for a sixth Pirates movie?
BT: Umm… My dream cast for a number six would be the same cast as number five. (laughs) But you know it’s a cool property, and that world has so much excitement to it. I think whoever does number six is just gonna knock it out of the park. It’s gonna be awesome.
UK: 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-
*[see Brenton Thwaites’ panel quote at the end of this article]
UK: -so could you elaborate a little bit on what you declined to do for “Crisis”?
BT: 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.
UK: Yeah, I think that totally makes sense, it’s very unlike the other shows that were crossing over. And so kind of in that same vein, you did talk a little bit about a Nightwing movie, and how you wouldn’t necessarily say no to it but you’d also love to see someone else take on the role because there has been a movie in development for many years. So who would be your dream actor to take on the role of Dick Grayson if you weren’t going to do it in a film?
BT: I think… I mean I would love to do the Nightwing movie, that would be amazing. I just don’t know what story would feel fresh, you know? I don’t know the comics very well, maybe there’s a great story down the line when he’s like, you know, fighting as Batman or like when he, you know, uh… there’s a mission where um, Harley Quinn like, captures him, and you know maybe they make a movie around that.
But I think what would be interesting to me is a younger or older Dick Grayson. Someone who’s like Bruce Wayne’s age, you know… or 45 or 50. So like an actor 15 years my senior to kind of portray the character and what it’s been like fighting crime for so long. Or a younger teenager and you go through the storyline of losing his parents, and what that means for him, and training with Bruce, and kind of psychological trauma that he faces.
UK: Okay and then last question, because I kind of had a thought around that. So the CW is also developing a Gotham Knights TV show, which is about a new adopted son of Batman who has to team up with the children of his greatest enemies to solve his murder. Is that something you would want to do, like not the Batman murder part, but say with all of the different Robins, all the different iterations of Robin, like teaming up with them to do a story without Batman. Like, do you think that-
BT: Oh that’s cool.
UK: -that would be interesting?
BT: Yeah I like that. I like that. That’s a cool idea.
UK: Yeah, because I know you said in the panel that it would be great to get Damian Wayne into Titans.
BT: That’d be a good way. Yeah, that’d be a good way in. It’s a good idea.
UK: All right, thank you so much!
NOTE: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
*Here is Brenton Thwaites quote from the Motor City Comic Con Titans Panel on 5/14/2022
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…
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 follows 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.