Unlike Marvel, DC keeps its TV and film properties in separate universes. This has led to simultaneous interpretations of characters such as Barry Allen, Deadshot, Amanda Waller, and even Bruce Wayne. However, with the DC Extended Universe now fully up and running, it's possible Warner Bros. will limit more characters from appearing in both film and TV. A prime example of this is Task Force X being "pulled" from Arrow after plans for a DCEU Suicide Squad film were announced. Characters such as Michael Rowe's Deadshot on Arrow had become fan-favorites, but clearly WB/DC wanted the likes of Will Smith to be the definitive Floyd Lawton - at least for the time being. (Lowe did, though, reprise his role as an Earth-2 variation of Lawton on The Flash.)
Deadshot is not the only DC character who was seemingly removed from the Arrowverse to pave way for the DCEU. Amanda Waller met her demise in Arrow season 4 and plans for a Harley Quinn introduction in the Arrowverse were nixed. Another fan-favorite villain from Arrow that may be affected by the DCEU is Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, protrayed by Manu Bennett. While Slade Wilson did not appear in Arrow season 4, he was a stand out on the show's first two seasons, and the hope was that we would see him in some capacity again.
However, it was recently revealed that Deathstroke would be appearing in Zack Snyder's Justice League, and will reportedly thereafter become the main villain in Ben Affleck's solo Batman outing. With Deathstroke set to play a prominent role in the DCEU, thoughts of him returning to Arrow have become less optimistic. However, the star of The CW's Arrow feels a bit differently.
Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen on Arrow, recently addressed a fan at Salt Lake Comic-Con (via CBM) who asked how Deathstroke's DCEU status will affect Manu Bennett's opportunity to return to the role. In response to how the television and feature sides of DC collaborate, Amell had this to say:
"That's actually something that people bring up on a regular basis…that DC has told us you can’t have or you must get rid of [this character]. That’s not how that works. Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns – the people at Warner Bros. on the feature side, the people at Warner Bros. on the television side – are all in the business of making the best products for fans. Just because there may or may not be a Deathstroke in the DC Extended Universe doesn’t mean Manu Bennett can’t exist on our show."
While it certainly appears that Warner Bros. has been careful with how they allow certain characters to be portrayed in television, especially those that will be featured prominently in film, there does not seem to be any steadfast rule that limits who can and cannot appear in both platforms. We already know that there will be two interpretations of Clark Kent, with Tyler Hoechlin appearing on Supergirl, and of course Henry Cavill reprising his role in the DCEU. Further, Barry Allen is of course not going anywhere on The Flash, and even if Captain Cold becomes a major villain in The Flash movie, Wentworth Miller is sticking around as Leonard Snart across all four Arrowverse shows.
Warner Bros. will likely continue to be careful with what characters appear in both television and film, but as Stephen Amell explains, their executives understand this is a business of entertaining fans. Thus, if a certain character, like Deathstroke, would improve both the TV and feature film DC adaptations, there's little doubt those in charge would allow him, or any other character, to appear.
You can watch the full video of Stephen Amell's Salt Lake Comic-Con appearance, below:
The Flash season 3 will premiere Tuesday October 4th at 8pm on The CW; Arrow season 5 will premiere in the same timeslot on Wednesday October 5th; Supergirl season 2 on Monday October 10th; and Legends of Tomorrow season 2 on Thursday October 13th.
Source: Stephen Amell [via CBM]