Looks like we shouldn’t hold our breaths in seeing Grant Gustin’s Flash having a footrace with Henry Cavill’s Superman. At the Television Critics Association press tour, DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns made it clear that there would be no media real estate sharing between characters from the DC Cinematic Universe and characters from the television universe. IGN was able to speak with Johns after the panel and ask him if there would be two versions of the Justice League — one for film and one for TV. He had this to say:
You’ll see a lot of DC universe characters [on The Flash and Arrow]. You won’t see Batman or Superman. We’re on production on Batman V Superman now. So you’ll see characters like The Atom or Firestorm, but no not Batman or Superman right now [on TV].
According to IGN, the decision is a “pragmatic” one. Because of the growing number of shows and different films, the ability to keep a continuity would be too challenging. Johns further justified the reasons from a storytelling perspective:
It’s a separate universe than film so that the filmmakers can tell the story that’s best for film … While we explore something different in a different corner of the DC universe … We will not be integrating the film and television universes.
This definitive statement from Johns comes on the heels of Stephen Amell publicly telling fans that his Green Arrow will not be in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. For weeks, Arrow fans have been speculating that Amell’s Oliver Queen would be making a cameo in the upcoming film.
Later, speaking with The CW President Mark Pedowitz, IGN questioned if Wonder Woman would ever step foot into the TV realm again. His answer fell more along the lines of characterization:
If she is and we can get the right script we will do it … One of the nice things is that a lot of the other broadcasters and cable networks have done Comic Book Characters based on the success of Arrow … So for our purposes, it is a rich source material, we know what the mythology is, and if you have the right superhero character you go for it.
Since 2008, audiences have become accustomed to comic book characters appearing in each other’s movies. In the past year, they’ve also gotten use to the fact that stories and characters from the movies and TV should all be cognizant of each other. This was all due to the introduction and success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. By linking their properties together, Marvel created a cohesive film structure that spanned multiple movies which have been planned into 2028. And it didn’t stop there. Marvel also introduced Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — a weekly television series that shared the same universe as the Marvel movies. The latest additions to the family will be the Netflix-produced shows of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and The Defenders — a team-up event that intertwines those shows and characters and also resides in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Johns response was expected, but I’m still disappointed. If creating a shared universe between the movies and TV would be too challenging, it seems that they need a Kevin Feige-like “godfather” — someone to keep all the storylines straight. DC, if you can’t find the right guy, I’m putting in my candidacy. I guess I’ll have to take one for the team and “suffer” through reading all of those great stories just to make sure they’re consistent. I know, it’ll be a hard life. But I’m willing to make that sacrifice for the good of humankind.