DC’s lack of continuity between its television and movie properties continues to be a popular discussion topic among DC fans in general. President of DC Entertainment, Diane Nelson, is among the DC executive who have defended the company’s practice of keeping its TV shows (like Arrow) and DC Extended Universe films (like Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the upcoming Suicide Squad) separate, having said that “Connected storylines could end up handcuffing our creators into trying to work with the same storyline or force them to hold back characters or introduce certain characters.”
Her statement implies that there is no obligation to what has already been done. From a studio perspective, there’s also a degree of a lessened financial burden given that some of the actors will not be coming into the DCEU with a large enough fan-base from the TV market. Different actors will also allow DC Films to keep to their own schedules in stead of having to work around current television shooting schedules.
Despite the studio logic applied to this division between TV and film, several actors have been quite vocal in their disapproval of this approach. Stephen Amell has mentioned that he doesn’t think there’s a place for him as Green Arrow in the DCEU; Grant Gustin said he would have loved to play the big screen version of Flash; and Tom Cavanagh defended Gustin’s portrayal of the Scarlet Speedster and thinks he’d be excellent on the big screen.
The latest DCTV actor to speak out was Willa Holland at MCM London ComicCon. In an interview with UK based Mirror, Holland blames DC for forcing Arrow to nix their Suicide Squad plans. She said:
“When DC found out they were going to be doing their own movie we had to axe all of the characters before we even got to show them. It was annoying at first and then when Stephen [Amell] found out there was going to be a Justice League movie it only seemed, rightly so, he would be playing Green Arrow on it as well as Grant [Gustin] playing the Flash. It just seemed like the right normal answer.”
In season two of Arrow, fans began to see a trail of hints that would eventually lead to a full-blown Suicide Squad in the TV series. Floyd Lawton (Deadshot) had been an integral part of John Diggle’s backstory, and once Amanda Waller and A.R.G.U.S. came into the picture, the rest of the Suicide Squad seemed imminent. However, as the DC film version began to pick up momentum, it seems the powers that be put an end to their TV branch competing against their film world. Holland went on to say:
“Once they said no, you can’t really fight against them for it, because they are the people that gave us a job in the first place. You just have to sit there on your hands, like okay, I get it!”
The inevitable Marvel vs DC comparison came up as well when Holland noted that there is continuity between shows like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the studio’s Marvel Cinematic Universe film installments. Then again, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Chloe Bennet has criticized the connections between Marvel’s films and TV shows as being flimsy and noted that the MCU movies never directly acknowledge the events that are happening in the TV shows, so it would appear that neither Marvel nor DC’s respective approaches to their movie and TV properties are without their flaws.
Arrow will return to the CW this fall, in its same Wednesday 8ET time slot.