This Thursday and Friday, Kingston Penitentiary is set to host filming for the DC superhero series Titans, a dark and gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise that airs on Netflix in
Canada. [Update: view scenes from the episode here]
The filming first came to light when local acting agency SoHo Management posted a search for fifty men ages 18-70 to be hired as background actors/convicts at the penitentiary on August 15 and 16.
Not surprisingly, the agency was swamped with applications and soon closed the casting call after more than 500 submissions were received.
Alex Jansen of the Kingston Film Office subsequently confirmed to the Herald that his department has been involved with the shoot, but kept it under wraps at the Production’s request.
“We’re incredibly excited to host Titans in Kingston, which is part of a big initiative to attract and support filming activity in the area,” said Jansen. “We’ve been in talks for some time but haven’t made any public announcements at the Production’s request, to avoid any disruptions during filming.” He added that the popular Kingston Pen tours will remain fully operational as usual.
Season 2 of Titans will premiere on DC’s streaming service in the United States on September 6, 2019. No date has been announced for its premiere on Netflix, but the first season was
available about three weeks after the U.S. finale, which would translate to becoming available on Netflix in late 2019 or early 2020.
Coincidentally, the final episode of Titans’ first season revealed an ALMOST superhero connection with the Kingston Penitentiary that spans more than 40 years.
<TITANS SPOILER> At the end of the season one finale, a shadowy figure – now revealed to be Superboy (actor Joshua Orpin) – is seen escaping imprisonment along with his faithful dog, Krypto.
While it’s not known if Superboy will be in scenes filmed here this week, over 40 years ago the Kingston Penitentiary was likewise anticipating filming for the 1978 film ‘Superman’, starring Christopher Reeve.
While it has been widely believed that Superman delivered Lex Luthor to prison in a scene shot at Kingston Penitentiary (video), curator David St. Onge of the Penitentary Museum
informed the Herald earlier this year that initial preparations were made to shoot here but it ultimately didn’t happen.
“The Superman crew definitely scouted the location, and even began having staff sign waivers, from what I’m told,” wrote St. Onge, who began work at the museum in 1984. “But in the end,
security concerns around 100s of cast and crew with equipment, cables, ladders & helicopters etc etc in a functioning prison housing a full population of offenders made it a security
However, in a 2017 Metroland interview on the Alias Grace miniseries filming at the pen, St. Onge remarked that the Superman scene ended up being filmed at a studio in England on a prison set based on Kingston Penitentiary.
DC’s Titans is filmed primarily in Toronto. Season one is available now in the U.S. on the digital subscription service DC Universe and on Netflix in Canada and around the world.