Warner Bros. and DC Comics are building a cinematic universe on the big screen, officially kicking off next year with the premiere of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. But in separate universes there are multiple DC Comics series on television including Gotham on FOX, The CW's growing shared universe in Arrow, The Flash and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow, as well as CBS' Supergirl. However, The CW's universe and Supergirl are an interesting case since they were all developed by Greg Berlanti, but will air on different networks.
As such, many have wondered whether or not Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl will crossover, or if they'll even exist within the same universe at all. Berlanti has never given a definite answer about a crossover either way, leaving the door open for it down the line. At New York Comic-Con, fellow Supergirl creator and producer Ali Adler spoke more about the potential crossover between the series and The CW's DC TV universe.
While at NYCC, Screen Rant asked Adler about the trend in Hollywood of developing shared universes and whether there have been discussions about Supergirl possibly joining the universe established by Arrow and The Flash. Though she said the talks about the subject were minimal, she also remains open to the idea:
"We actually haven't talked too much about it. I mean, the truth is we hope to be as successful as some of the other Berlanti Productions and with that success I bet we'll have more options. Honestly we don't have an answer on that, but are open to anything."
So far it has seems Supergirl is working to build its own universe within the pilot and first run of episodes. Additionally, it’s clear that Supergirl will need to establish itself on its own -- unlike The Flash, which introduced its star on Arrow and utilized multiple event-style crossovers within the show’s first season. But, it seems there is the possibility that all three shows (read: heroes) could come together for a mega-event somewhere down the line. That is, if Supergirl is, in fact, as successful as Arrow and The Flash.
Adler additionally talked about collaborating with Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, who oversees all the DC Comics television series, describing the give-and-take as a "partnership." When asked if the writers on Supergirl had ever run into a character they couldn't use because they had appeared on Arrow or The Flash, Adler corrected: "Couldn't use yet." Furthermore, she discussed the catalogue of characters from which Supergirl can pull:
"They're so generous with us… They have a huge history of 75 years of these characters, there's no shortage of bad guys and women for us to take advantage of."
Indeed, Supergirl is utilizing a whole host of DC Comics characters in addition to the titular hero, including those introduced in the pilot like Cat Grant, Jimmy Olsen, Hank Henshaw and Winn Schott. Additionally set to appear down the line are Lucy Lane, Red Tornado and Livewire among others. So, it seems Supergirl is certainly taking advantage of the many characters who have appeared in DC Comics.
Still, of those comic characters set to appear on Supergirl, and those that will be announced in the future, it seems the writers are largely avoiding the major DC Comics names. Although Superman will exist in Supergirl’s universe, he won’t be a regular on the show, and it’s likely the same can be said for other well-known DC heroes and villains.
That being said, Arrow and The Flash have found success despite similar problems --Harley Quinn, John Stewart, a.k.a. Green Lantern, and Booster Gold are among characters that The CW universe has needed to avoid. With such characters off limits, and these shows forced to go deeper into the comic universe for characters, it gives fans a chance to see live-action iterations of characters that haven’t appeared on TV before. Additionally, given Arrow and The Flash’s success in that regard, it’s certainly possible that Supergirl could prove to be a similarly entertaining series.
Supergirl premieres on CBS at 8:30pm EST on October 26th, 2015. It will air at 8pm EST on Mondays thereafter.