It’s a heartbreaking ending to the original Titan, but as Ritchson explains, it wasn’t his decision to leave the show.
“Titans has always been a tricky thing to make, to be honest,” Ritchson says. “The world is huge. You go from Gotham to the backgrounds and worlds where the older Titans come from. You have the new one. You have the old one. You have all the great villain storylines there. You have teenage anxiety and more dramatic relationships and the problems that come with them. It’s a huge world. This is not a normal show for anyone to produce.”
“If you’re trying to creatively serve eight regular series leads, with legitimate storylines, it’s hard to find your focal point,” he continues. “It feels like you can never give every story enough time. Really tough decisions were made about how to focus this show on a stronger core group. There were very legitimate needs to transfer the show from one platform to another, from DC Universe to HBO. They have certain needs that must be met. Things are just going to evolve and change.”
Some actors wish their heroic alter-egos would go out in a blaze of glory, thwart the bad guy, and save the day. On the other hand, Ritchson, who called his departure “pretty blazing,” viewed Hank’s manner of death in a different light.
“The worst way to die would be a sudden and unexpected car accident, metaphorical or not, a collision that unexpectedly takes him away from the world,” offers Ritchson. “What was so great about it was everyone’s pain, knowing what’s coming up and having the moment to say goodbye to everyone in their own way. Also, still holding on to that tiny little thread of hope that maybe they’ll find this out before the clock stops ticking. The tension is ramped up all the time. We all wait, ‘Are they really going to do this to him?’ It really pays off. They get their money’s worth with the way it plays out. It was a great episode.”
Death does not always equate to the end. Donna has died and is resurrected. Deathstroke killed Aqualad, but the Atlantean popped up in flashbacks. So, if the Titans’ writers could figure out the logistics, would Ritchson be open to returning in some capacity? Maybe a flashback to Hank’s old days? Sure.
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