The DC movie universe is so overrun with rumors and speculation right now, it’s hard to keep anything straight. We’re getting a Batman vs. Superman movie in 2015, which will be a sequel to Man of Steel and will star Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in the titular roles as Batman and Superman, respectively. On the TV side, the Arrow TV show is going strong, it will give rise to a Flash TV show in the near future, and there’s word of shows like a Batman spinoff, Gotham Central, or a Constantine TV series being in the works. That’s about all the confirmed news that anybody has right now.
If you want to talk rumors, well, that conversation could go on for days; what it all boils down to, however, is that the roadmap for DC and Warner Bros. remains unclear, and the sense that the studio is flying by the seat of its pants remains prevalent. This latest rumor won’t change that sentiment one bit.
According to Bleeding Cool, The CW – home of DC/WB’s superhero TV series like Arrow and Smallville – could be getting a Young Justice TV show in 2015. For those not in the know: Young Justice is exactly what the title would suggest: a team made up of younger versions of the heroes in the Justice League. Superboy, Batman’s sidekick Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad – you get the idea.
Fanboys will likely recoil at the additional mention by BC that this Young Justice series would be “live action teen drama/romance…with a superhero twist.” The notion of Young Justice being in any way comparable to the network’s teen soap opera dramas (and all the stigma that goes with) will not make a good initial impression. However, the added note that the series will be based on the games, comics and (most importantly) hit cartoon series IS a good sign.
Young Justice the cartoon has been airing on Carton Network since 2010. The show is probably the closest that DC Animation has come to matching the success (and formula) of its early 2000s Justice League animated series. Though Young Justice may not be quite as big with fans as its predecessor (which is arguable), it is distinguished by the fact that it has won an Emmy Award (whereas Justice League was only bestowed with nominations).
The point being: both the cartoon and the various iterations of the comic books (including both the Young Justice and Teen Titans titles) offer plenty of rich story material for a good show. Arrow has proven to be a welcome surprise in superhero storytelling – CW style – but this teen team dynamic is undoubtedly ripe for some potent cheese.
First, there’s the obvious concern of weak links in an ensemble chain; or worse yet, no standout links. Arrow star Stephen Amell was a find – now do that six times over, with affordable but quality young actors. No pressure.
Second, there’s the question of character development and narrative progression. Arrow is about the slow development of one hero – but a group dynamic is something much different to juggle. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has had a hard time finding its footing, and even it doesn’t have to contend with point #3:
Superpowers. They’re hard to do on TV budgets – and doing them with multiple characters would be a true feat. Avoiding them entirely – or minimizing them to camera tricks or sparse use – runs the risk of underwhelming the viewers. No demographic would be served by a show that is 3/4 teen soap and 1/4 superpowers. Nobody needs that.
Smallville once tried to feature its own version of a Justice League in a story arc. I say “tried” because the results definitely looked more like an attempt than an accomplishment. See (and judge) for yourself:
The Young Justice squad tends to feature Robin and Superboy as its core, and Bleeding Cool‘s report also notes that Miss Martian (the female younger version of Martian Manhunter) will also be featured. Those are ambitious characters to tackle. Any fan of Arrow may see how certain characters from that show (like Colton Haynes’ Roy Harper) could be spun into a Young Justice series (thus bridging that gap); and those recent rumors of a TV version of Nightwing now seem all the more relevant.
…But as always with DC/WB, there is not necessarily fire where there is spark. Young Justice could be a self-contained experiment with no other ties to the DC TV universe; it may not even make it out of the trial stages. We’ll see.
This is DC/WB we’re talking about: Nothing and everything is possible.
We’ll Keep you updated on the status of Young Justice TV show as more develops.
Source: Bleeding Cool