In some alternate universe, Warner Bros. and DC’s 2006 Superman Returns was an extension of their 2005 reboot Batman Begins, ushering in a new interconnected movie universe ahead of Marvel Studios. That didn’t happen, of course. Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy exists as an Elseworlds-type of self-contained story, standing apart from the newly established DC Movie Universe created by last year’s Superman reboot, Man of Steel.
Marvel, in contrast, patiently and carefully built up their own universe, starting with Iron Man (2008), peaking commercially with the 2012 Superhero All-Star Jam The Avengers, which was then augmented by the ABC television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Now that DC and Warner Bros. is continuing their Man of Steel world-building with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and have big plans for their interconnected movie-verse, fans have wondered – will their TV shows ever cross over into the movies?
According to DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, we can rule that notion out. IGN reports that during a panel for The CW’s upcoming Arrow spinoff The Flash during the Television Critics Association press tour, Johns asserted that fans should not expect any crossover between the DC film and TV continuities, stating flatly that each of them are “their own universes.”
When asked if we might expect some form of the Justice League to appear in both the movies and on television, Johns elaborated, saying:
“You’ll see a lot of DC universe characters [on 'The Flash' and 'Arrow']. You won’t see Batman or Superman. We’re on production on ‘Batman v Superman’ now. So you’ll see characters like The Atom or Firestorm, but no not Batman or Superman right now [on TV].”
So despite the ongoing teasing of such a thing by Arrow star Stephen Amell, we can presumably close the book on such speculations. Johns went ahead and further clarified the matter, if his above comments seemed too vague, saying:
“It’s a separate universe than film so that the filmmakers can tell the story that’s best for film, while we explore something different in a different corner of the DC universe.”
And if that wasn’t enough to convince you that Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman will NOT be rubbing shoulders with the TV version of Green Arrow and The Flash, Johns stated: “We will not be integrating the film and television universes.”
Given that the DC adaptations Constantine and Gotham would be airing on NBC and FOX, respectively, few really expected any kind of crossover there, despite Gotham serving as a sort of Batman origin story. Still, with the CW co-owned by Warner Bros. (who, naturally, owns DC Comics), and in an entertainment industry increasingly obsessed with franchise-building across multiple platforms, it didn’t seem too far-fetched to expect the Arrow and The Flash to appear alongside Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in some form down the line.
And what about Diana of Themyscira? With her background as an iconic TV character in the past, could she appear on the small screen? According to CW president Mark Pedowitz, if they “get the right script,” they’ll do it.
Given Wonder Woman’s pending big-screen introduction, it’s safe to say she won’t appear on television anytime soon. While Pedowitz acknowledged that the success of Arrow has opened many of their competitors’ eyes to the possibilities of an ongoing comic book-based series, he would neither confirm or deny The CW’s plans to develop another comic-based show, saying:
“So for our purposes, it is a rich source material, we know what the mythology is, and if you have the right superhero character you go for it.”
Johns seemed to echo this sentiment, saying: “There’s room for everything.” And, apparently, one property Johns would like to find room for is Shazam. That’s a tricky IP, given its mystical themes, aspects of the DC Universe which have yet to appear onscreen. Still, Shazam is the next rumored release after Batman v Superman, and since Warner Bros. has yet to officially debunk that leaked schedule, could the exploits of the once-named Captain Marvel really hit theaters in some form?
Given the flexible nature of such “definitive” statements within the ever-changing Comic Book Movie genre and multitude of red herrings we’ve seen in the past, this may or may not be the last word on the subject. With fan anticipation for Batman v Superman likely to hit a fever pitch come 2016, and with such positive early reviews for The Flash, if fans want some kind of crossover it may very well happen at some point.
What do you think, Screen Ranters? Is it too early for DC and Warners to rule out a movie/TV crossover? Sound off in the comments.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on May 6th, 2016. The Flash premieres Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 @8pm on The CW.