DC and Warner Bros. may not have quite caught up with their Marvel Studios counterparts, as far as creating a shared universe between its film and television projects. However, it definitely appears – between the looming 2015 release of Batman vs. Superman and the recent announcement of an Arrow spinoff centering on the Flash – that DC is hatching plans of its own.
Green Arrow is currently the only DC hero to headline a live-action series, and the CW had initially planned on introducing The Flash in three episodes of Arrow season 2. The first two episodes – set to air in December – would bring the speedy hero’s alter-ego police investigator Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) to Starling City, and he would re-appear once more late in the season in a “backdoor pilot” episode designed to serve as a springboard for the Flash spinoff. However, it appears that is no longer the case.
According to Deadline, the CW was so pleased with Gustin’s first two appearances that the network has instead decided to feature The Flash in a traditional standalone pilot. As such, the character will not appear in costume and is unlikely to acquire his superpowers on Arrow. Both series share the same creative team, as Arrow co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and writer Geoff Johns are behind the Flash pilot. David Nutter – who directed the Arrow pilot – will also do so for the new series.
It remains to be seen if Gustin will appear or be referenced at all on Arrow season 2 following his two-episode arc, but the decision to expand the Flash origin story and loosen its ties to Arrow is a curious move on the part of the storytellers. Of course, it should allow a better opportunity to delve into the circumstances that result in the character’s super-speed. Still, it also effectively downplays the new show’s connection to Arrow and raises even more questions regarding how the CW series will be connected to the inevitable Justice League film.
Arrow star Stephen Amell has previously dropped hints that he may eventually join Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck onscreen, but recent developments have also indicated that the show may be casting its own version of Nightwing separate from the rumored film version, leading some to believe that the DC television universe might be entirely separate from the films.
We recently speculated that DC/WB may be shying away from committing to a shared multimedia universe in order to integrate only the properties that have proven successful. The announcement then that the proposed Flash show will be less tied to Arrow could, in fact, be a safeguard to protect the success of Arrow in the event that Flash flops. If the new show is a hit, then Flash and Arrow could both carry over into the Justice League film; but if the Flash show flops, Arrow could still stand on its own and bring Amell to the big screen, where a new version of the Flash could be introduced, if necessary.
That being said, DC’s road to the Justice League film (and how it hopes to integrate its growing number of television projects) is largely a mystery. We’ve already speculated on what their approach, but now it’s your turn to speak up.
Do you think that the CW’s decision to push the Flash origin story to the new show is a smart move? What do you think it means about DC’s plans for the future? Sound off in the comments section.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on the Flash spin-off as this story develops.