As Warner Bros continues to build the DCEU, it will do so while keeping what is shown on the big screen and what is shown on TV separate. The CW has become the home of every DC TV show, which includes Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. Arrow was the launching pad for the rest of the DC TV universe, but the decision to keep these properties outside of the DCEU has divided fans. Unlike Marvel’s decision to include Netflix shows and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. under the same umbrella as the movies, existing outside of the DCEU allows these shows to have more creative freedom.
They do not have to worry about the events of the latest DC blockbuster because it does not directly influence the world of the television shows. This is not to say that Warner Bros and DC Films do not influence the network shows in any way, with them sometimes being asked to test out (or, in some cases, not use) characters that could appear on the big screen in the near future.
Greg Berlanti serves as the producer on all DC TV shows, and is hoping to launch a Booster Gold movie that is also not set within the DCEU. In a recent interview with Vulture, Berlanti was asked about the influence that DC Films can have on his shows. He revealed one example where the studios asked him to try out characters they wanted to bring into the DCEU. As it turns out, the appearance and formation of the Suicide Squad in season 2 of Arrow was one of these instances:
They said to us a year and a half before they started developing Suicide Squad, “Will you guys put [a version of] the Suicide Squad in your show? Because we want to have it as a film at some point.”
The TV version of Task Force X has appeared three times on Arrow, but the members have all but been eliminated from existence. Even though the studios are adamant on keeping things separated, they are still limiting what characters can appear and, in this case, pushing for new characters only on a trial basis. The Suicide Squad was never fully formed on television and now likely never will be, which means Suicide Squad and any potential sequels or spinoffs will be the only live-action version of these characters fans will get.
It is understandable why the studios would not want to hinder the creative freedom of the show by forcing them to address an event such as Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman battling Doomsday, but there is no reason to force in new characters to test the waters if they cannot have a real future on the small screen. Both sides seem satisfied with this arrangement as of now, but that will not stop talk from fans hoping to see the two universes crossover at some point.
The Flash season 3 will premiere Tuesday October 4th at 8pm on The CW, Arrow season 5 will premiere in the same time slot on Wednesday October 5th, Supergirl season 2 on Monday October 10th, and Legends of Tomorrow season 2 on Thursday October 13th.