Fans of The CW show Arrow were teased recently by Oliver Queen directly name-dropping Bruce Wayne, but showrunner Marc Guggenheim has squashed rumors that this will lead to an appearance by the Dark Knight himself. It's not the first time that Batman has been sneakily slipped into a conversation in an Arrowverse show, but in a recent interview, Guggenheim admitted that the references were all just part of the fun of being in the DC universe and that fans shouldn't anticipate any surprise cameos.
It was during the current season of Arrow, when Mayor Queen (Stephen Amell) explained away photographic evidence of him as the Green Arrow, by quipping that it could just have easily been photo-shopped to be Bruce Wayne from Gotham. It was the first time that Batman's alter-ego had been so directly referenced and led some to think that he could be visiting Star City soon. The character has also been mentioned - although more subtly - by characters in the other Arrowverse shows. Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) mentions a friend and vigilante that aids her cousin in Supergirl. Newspaper headlines in The Flash give updates on Wayne Tech. Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) even talks about a Dark Knight in Legends of Tomorrow.
But according to Guggenheim as he spoke to Comicbook, Batman will categorically not be appearing in any Arrowverse show for the time being. He admits;
"No, I love a good Easter egg, and I love doing the occasional name drop. You know, we name dropped Hal Jordan at the beginning of Season 3, but it's really just fun for us. I think in the Arrowverse we have our own Justice League and the Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman ... these are all characters that are either spoken for on the movie side and/or other shows. There's a Bruce Wayne on Gotham... Over here on the CW, we're sort of a mischievous lot, and we enjoy the occasional Easter egg... And our partners at DC are very tolerant of our mischief. But that's really all it is. Just good nature, good fanboy mischief."
This is no great surprise to those that follow the shows. Amell said the same thing at a recent press event, although he was open to the idea of the characters meeting somehow. But the showrunner has also admitted that he has been prevented from using other popular characters like The Question, and is now unable to have Deathstroke on the show due to stipulations from DC. This is mainly due to future plans involving DCEU films or TV projects. For the time being The Flash and Superman will be the only Justice League members to appear on Arrowverse shows.
Whilst it may be disappointing for many fans of Batman and other big-hitters that won't be seen on the small screen, it has allowed other fan-favorites like Vixen, Wild Dog and The Elongated Man to get their chance to shine alongside the more well-known characters from the comics. This is certain to continue with the upcoming seasons of Arrow and it's sister shows, and there's no shortage of characters or materials that can be used to craft good stories.
Arrow season 6 continues on Thursday, January 18 @9pm on The CW.