Warner Bros. Needs to Make a Decision About DC’s Film and TV Universes


Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has an advantage over Arrow in many ways because it is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They can do crossovers, references and cameos to elements that exist in their movies.  Arrow has so far not been confirmed whether or not it will be part of this new DC Cinematic Universe with movies such as Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman part of it.

Arrow’s current season has a lot in store for us such as Grant Gustin coming in as Dr. Barry Allen aka The Flash (who they are aiming to get a spin-off). Just recently they name dropped Ra’s al Ghul, a pretty big villain from the comics (mostly a Batman villain) that we will see probably later this season. Let’s not forget that we will most likely see a bit more of the super-element playing a huge role in the Arrow universe with Flash coming in.

I have been a supporter for the idea of Warner Bros/DC connecting their TV and Movie universes and make it into one. It wasn’t until last week when they named Ra’s al Ghul that I felt that more than ever these companies need to decide pretty soon whether or not they are going to have a shared continuity.

Ra’s al Ghul is a huge character as well as The Flash and I’m going to entirely honest that I don’t like the idea of having multiple actors portraying different versions of a character at the same time (only in live-action). I’m sure that with Ben Affleck’s Batman that we will eventually get Ra’s al Ghul in a new Batman franchise.

Here’s the biggest mystery that I will never understand with Warner Bros/DC: while Marvel doesn’t own all the movie rights to some of their biggest characters (Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four), Warner Bros/DC do. They have all their characters under the same roof which Marvel/Disney doesn’t.

While I know that the TV/Movie audience isn’t stupid, I think the majority will find it irritating as well as odd to see a character being played by different actors and seeing them in different universes. I think from a financial perspective, Warner Bros/DC and The CW could invest a lot by having Arrow and Flash (which I think will be picked up) being part of the DC Cinematic Universe.

Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/Arrow) has done such an amazing job on the show and I have definitely seen a lot of movie quality in him. I’m optimistic about Gustin as Barry Allen and I think he is going to surprise a lot of people as the fastest man alive. I think by having these products being part of a larger franchise/universe would help them out more than they realize, especially financially.

The reason why this issue became more important for me when they referenced Ra’s al Ghul is that I don’t want to see this character on the show if they can’t reference the Batman mythos that he is part of. That is an essential element in his character and while he is quite adaptable as a villain for any hero to have, I still think it would be wrong if he is perhaps not the Ra’s we will see with Affleck’s Batman. I also feel that if people respond well to Gustin’s Flash and if the show does well that it will be unnecessary if they decide to cast a different actor in their movies with a different setup.

While I don’t know how a Green Arrow movie would do as of now, if Amell’s version of the character was part of the DC movies and people liked his interpretation, that it could definitely help the CW series. It would drive in a lot of new people who perhaps has never seen the show before.

It may be easier said than done, but with the right people attached of trying to make this happen, such as Geoff Johns, the creators of Arrow, Zack Snyder, David S. Goyer as well as the executives of WB, I know that we could easily have a working shared universe just like Marvel/Disney.

Now I want to hear your thoughts about this issue. Should they have a shared universe? Wouldn’t it be great to see Amell and the other amazing actors who portray these famous DC characters, in a universe with Henry Cavill’s Superman and Affleck’s Batman? Let me know in the comment section!

Arrow airs Wednesday nights, 8/7c on The CW.

Andy has contributed to sites such as KSiteTV,and It's Just Movies. While working as a TV Critic for TVOvermind, he is also a podcaster and podcast producer for TheFlashPodcast.com as well as a moderator of DCTVPodcasts.com and Andy is also the founder/owner/editor in chief of TheMarvelReport.com He has always had a big passion for writing and analyzing superhero, fantasy and sci-fi television. Follow him on Twitter @AndyBehbakht
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  • tt9296tt

    I think it would be great but there is one big issue : with Gotham on the Fox and Constantine on NBC next year, I don’t see how all these series could be connected…

    • Andy Behbakht

      The only way Gotham could be connected is if it’s an prequel series to the Gordon that we see in the movies.

      But they would have to work very closely with Warner Bros. because if they are planning on introducing a few of Batman’s villains before they would become evil (I’m not sure if this has been confirmed), it would have to fit with the plans that they are working on for this new Batman franchise.

      Constantine could without problem be connected, especially with that Justice League Dark/Dark Universe Project that Guillermo Del Toro is working on and Constantine (the character and not necessarily the TV project) is part of that project.

      • tt9296tt

        Gotham may be the right way to explore Batman’s past. Something like during the first season we follow Gordon and his cases and at the end of the season, Gordon invatigate a case where we discover Batman (but we don’t have to see him everytime in screen). That way, Batman univers can be real before Batman vs Superman (or whatever his name will be) comes out !

        I was saying it would be difficult to have 4 shows on 3 different channels because you couldn’t have a shared univers between, the channels wouldn’t agreed something like that (or if they do so, it would be fu*cking amazing !)

        • Andy Behbakht

          As far as I have heard, Batman will not be part of the series as the show will be exploring the origins of James Gordon.

          I can understand the network issue but they could still be in the same universe and just not reference each other. However, deals can probably be made that Constantine (if it gets picked up/ordered for a pilot) could reference Starling City perhaps.

          I think there is no need to worry about Gotham and Arrow: it will probably be set in a time when Oliver was probably a kid or a teenager because I think Gordon will be quite young, perhaps mid/early thirties.

          • tt9296tt

            Yeah you’re right, but as far as we had heard fo Arrow till 2 months ago, Arrow was superpowers-free… So maybe Gotham could become after all a Batman show

  • http://hanko9.com/ Henry A. Otero

    Absolutely, a shared Universe is the way to go! Though historically speaking, Warner Bros/DC tend to favor “reboots” of the same characters. I’d love to see Amell in the Justice League movie, but I honestly don’t see that happening.

  • Rudy desi

    I think some will cross reference or could like arrow be great with a tie in or a cameo in man of steel sequel that leads to an appearance in justice league movie. Gotham i think is a origin story so i cant see that cross reference. Constantine i think will be a origin too and not sure of the flash yet…an idea is to have man of steel sequel happen years after arrow..stephen amell could look older in that maybe grow a goatee like the comics

  • joe

    Merging the film and tv universes would make the inevitable Justice League movie feel more organic. They wouldn’t have to force so many new characters on us if they include Amell and Gustin. Those two actors, plus Cavil and Affleck gives WB 4 characters that will not be new to the world. This would make it easier to introduce 1-2 more characters in the JL film, as apposed to introducing all new characters besides superman and batman. IDK how this would financially affect them, but I think it would create a better JL movie

    • Andy Behbakht

      We think alike + I actually want Ryan Reynolds to get another chance as Green Lantern. So all they would have to do is just introduce Wonder Woman and perhaps Martian Manhunter and they are good to go!

      • Duggy

        I can’t accept the Ryan Reynolds GL film as part of an DC film/TV universe. Not because of Ryan or the failure of the film. I could overlook that or they could replace Hal or whatever.

        But they ruined the Amanda Waller character. Waller should be the DC Cinematic Universe’s Samuel L. Jackson-as-Nick Fury. In the background of all the films and shows.

  • Duggy

    Using Batman/Superman/The Flash/Green Arrow as a basis is fine, but those are the ones that least need an origin story (Batman & Superman have been done and done) Green Arrow and Flash’s are easy and ignorable. The recent GL film adds him to that list. Wonder Woman maybe (it’s been a while).

    The Hawks, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman all need to have origins (there own films/appear in the shows or an origin written into the JLA movie.) Which is why I’ve always said that Thanagar attacking Mars and then Earth and Katar rebelling makes sense.

  • cornerofthemoon

    DC movies/tv save the latest Batman trilogy and some of the animated features have traditionally not been very good. I’m not sure why they can’t get their act together.

  • Ron Freeman

    I agree that it would be disturbing to have two different actors playing the same characters, especially if they have long range plans for continuing movies and series.
    Fans of the tv series want to see the actors they are used to in a movie and movies watchers could get confused if they move to a series after interest is sparked by a movie.
    Plus it would tie the DC universe together, give a chance for crossovers, cameos and guest appearances.