There’s the DC Extended Universe, which includes all the DC movies and the characters within them, and there’s the world of DC-inspired TV shows that is treated as a separate universe. For obvious reasons, it’s rare to see much cross-over between the cinematic and television incarnations of the DC uber-world, but fans often clamor for there to be more sharing of characters and even actors between the two platforms. Mostly, it seems these hopes will remain in the realm of speculation, unless multiple rights-related and economic realities are somehow resolved.
Still, fans can dream and actors working on the TV side of things can also dream. One star on a DC television show would love to collaborate with a certain big-time Hollywood star who is currently occupying the #1 spot in the DCEU, playing arguably the single most important character in that universe.
Yes, Ben Affleck has a lot on his plate, what with his forthcoming appearance as Batman in Justice League, and his efforts to bring The Batman to the screen with himself as star and director. As if that weren’t already enough for Affleck, David Ramsey, who plays Spartan on the popular The CW series Arrow, would love to have Affleck add to his menu by bringing his Batman and more importantly his Bruce Wayne to the small screen for a showdown with Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen. As Ramsey put it during a Q&A at Wizard World (h/t Comic Book ):
“I think for sure Bruce Wayne like I would love to see these two billionaires, well, are you still a billionaire? Math is hard. You should be, you totally should be. I would love to see these two guys at a table together just like “sup Bruce”, “sup Oliver”. You know what I mean? And duke it out, like no utility belt, no arrows, just hand to hand man.”
When asked who would play Batman in this scenario Ramsey dropped the big name:
“Listen, I would love, honestly? I would love Ben [Affleck] to play Bruce Wayne. Yeah, have him on the show, why not join the universe to me. That would be dope, just like, how big would that be?”
Ben Affleck the TV star? Considering how long Affleck has been around, his resume is surprisingly pretty thin when it comes to TV work. His longest run as a TV actor was in 1993 when he appeared in 8 episodes of a show called Against the Grain. He also once landed the plum role of Danny Coleman on the ABC Afterschool Special Wanted: The Perfect Guy. Clearly if Affleck did do Arrow, it would not be because he needed the paycheck or the work, or probably because he had any burning desire to pad his meager list of TV credits.
The larger question here concerns all the DCEU and Marvel Cinematic Universe properties and whether we will at any point ever see big-screen stars like Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Robert Downey and Chris Evans making the jump to TV. Certainly such appearances would be a big boon to the TV side, resulting in huge event episodes and massive ratings, but it’s less clear what if any benefit the movie properties would reap from such crossovers. There are some who might argue such endeavors would only hurt the cinematic side of things by diminishing the perceived specialness of the big screen experience, and that appears to be the attitude of the studios. Crossovers between TV shows of course remain very popular and result in some great viewing experiences.
For the time-being fans of TV superheroes will have to content themselves with brief appearances by the top characters. Supergirl managed to get Superman onto the show for two episodes, but with Tyler Hoechlin and not Henry Cavill playing the role. Recasting Bruce Wayne/Batman with a different, less-famous actor and dropping him into the Arrow mix for one episode might be an option at some point, but we probably shouldn’t hold our breath.
Arrow season 5 resumes with ‘Who Are You?’ Wednesday January 25 at 8 pm on The CW.