Shared universes based on DC Comics characters are growing both on television and in film. Warner Bros. and DC announced their lineup of films through 2020 last fall. On the TV side, The CW already has Arrow and The Flash existing in a single universe, with the possibility to add more television series. Last month, CW President Mark Pedowitz revealed the network was talking about expanding the universe and Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim said Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer is a “natural” choice for a spinoff.
In season 2 of Arrow, many thought Amanda Waller’s Task Force X would be the next spinoff in the CW’s universe, but that hasn’t happened yet, likely due to the planned Suicide Squad movie from director David Ayer (Fury). Michael Rowe, who plays Floyd Lawton a.k.a. Deadshot on Arrow, weighed in on the potential spinoff as well as his big screen Deadshot counterpart.
In an interview with CB, Rowe discussed his hope for a crossover with The Flash, who he thinks would win in a fight between Deadshot and David Ramsey’s John Diggle (Deadshot of course), and the upcoming big screen iteration of the Suicide Squad. Rowe said he thinks Will Smith will be a “very interesting” version of Deadshot and that he’s happy Ayer’s film will make the Suicide Squad more well-known.
Read Rowe’s full quote:
“I’ve grown quite attached to it, the character and the squad. So for Will Smith to takeover Deadshot, it’s gonna be fun, man, because he’s gonna take the squad, and all the A-list stars, are gonna make the squad into a household name and give it the respect that it’s due, so that makes me really happy. I guess if you do look at it, as we proved it on TV and it graduates into film, it does kind of take away some of the stuff that we could have done because we’re sharing the property with the film, it does limit you. So there’s good things and bad things for it. I think Will Smith is going to make a very interesting Deadshot so I can’t wait to see what he does. I do take is as a little bit of a compliment. I didn’t in the beginning, I didn’t think much, but the conversations I’ve had with people and stuff like that, we did our job on TV, we work hard. It is a compliment to say 'Let’s go to the biggest level we can with it.' Definitely a pat on the back there.”
With Waller’s Task Force X returning to Arrow later this season, they’ll be playing a bigger role in the show. However, the Suicide Squad episode in season 2 seemed more like a backdoor pilot meant to test the possibility of a spinoff. When asked about a Suicide Squad show, Rowe said he would be completely on board:
“Yeah, I’d be into it, man! Like I said, I would love to do this character more. That’s my problem with it, there’s so much we can do, but there’s only so much we can do on ‘Arrow’. We can’t develop them into full capacity. I hear the buzz that goes on online and I hear people chirping around the background, stuff like that. It definitely was a possible, but I don’t know now because of the film. If it ever does happen, I’m all in, 100%, I’d love to do it. We just gotta wait, that ship is sailed for the time being, we just gotta wait and see what happens.”
As Rowe said, a series about Task Force X has likely been put on hold - if it was ever truly in the works - due to Warner Bros. and DC’s big screen take on the Suicide Squad. Though that may be disappointing for fans who have particularly enjoyed Rowe’s take on Deadshot, he seems to be excited to see a new version of the character.
While The CW isn’t developing a Suicide Squad spinoff, they are discussing other potential series within the same TV universe as Arrow and The Flash. Whether that means a show featuring Task Force X is still a possibility down the line remains to be seen. It likely depends on the success of Ayer’s film and The CW getting on board. Whether or not a Suicide Squad series gets the green light, it seems Task Force X will always be welcome to return on Arrow.
Arrow returns Wednesday with “Uprising” @8pm on The CW.