Hey, did you hear the latest Batman Vs. Superman rumor? Oh, you haven’t? Let me fill you in. It turns out that Nightwing is totally going to be a character in it. Not only will he be a character in the film but he will actually first be introduced on Arrow to establish the character and his back story before transitioning him to a supporting role in Batman Vs. Superman.
Actually, there’s still more.
On top of all that, there are even rumors that if Grant Gustin’s turn as Barry Allen/The Flash on Arrow is popular then his version of Allen will be worked into a small cameo role in Batman Vs. Superman. However, he won’t be The Flash, but he will be there in his normal identity as Allen.
Pretty cool, right? Yeah, well, forget every word of it. Well, maybe not. Ah, who the heck knows for sure. However, if any of the above was true don’t you think the people at Arrow would know about it? According to Arrow co-creator and Executive Producer Greg Berlanti, we give them and WB/DC far too much credit. Speaking with Fandango.com, Berlanti had this to say about potential connections between Arrow and its characters and a larger D.C. cinematic universe:
“We haven’t had any of those conversations other than to say, what characters are we allowed to use this year and advocate or request certain ones that are of interest to us. And every now and then, they’ll say, ‘You can’t have that guy.’ They don’t say why, and we figure out why later on.”
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily debunk any of the rumors as it more indicates that Berlanti and Co. are generally left in the dark about these kinds of things by WB/DC. However, where did these rumors even come from? In the case of Nightwing, we have Nightwing-related patents recently claimed by WB partially to blame. The rest of the blame falls at the feet of actor Steven R. McQueen, who tweeted a picture of himself in self-described Nightwing training. The picture used the name of one of Arrow’s producers in its hashtag. As for the Barry Allen rumors, there appears to be no great source other than one site running with “I’m hearing whispers that…” and other sites picking it up.
That fans would so desperately want for WB/DC to appear to have a larger plan in place makes sense. Marvel has set a new standard for synergy in this area, successfully transferring the shared universe of a comic book in which heroes regularly cross over into each other’s stories into an historic succession of interrelated comic book movies and now TV show all existing within the same fictional universe and continuity. So, with Arrow now into its second season, Man of Steel doing big business over the summer, and a Batman/Superman team-up planned for 2015 surely this was a time for WB/DC to follow Marvel’s lead. Merge the fictional universes of your various film and TV properties to mimic Marvel and give fans cool moments like maybe Stephen Amell popping up as Oliver Queen in the Batman/Superman movie just as Samuel L. Jackson showed up in a cameo this season on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.
That or something like it could still certainly happen. However, the recent actions of WB/DC have heavily indicated they consider their films and TV shows to be separate entities. They recently put a Constantine TV show into development at NBC even though they’ve had director Guillermo del Toro working on developing a Justice League Dark film for over a year, the Justice League Dark being a group to which the character John Constantine belongs in the comics.
Not all of their TV shows are even interrelated. If there is to be a Flash TV show, it will indeed be a spin-off of Arrow. However, WB/DC landed a series commitment at Fox for a new show centered around a young James Gordon and the Gotham City Police Department. Such a premise offers obvious potential for crossovers with Arrow, since Starling City and Gotham are not that far away. But Fox is a better fit for the type of show and made the best offer, synergy be damned since it being on a different network would eliminate any potential relation to the CW’s Arrow.
There have been some indications that WB/DC might be attempting to at least establish a shared cinematic universe which springs outward from Man of Steel, much as Marvel’s did from the first Iron Man. David S. Goyer’s recent new deal with the studio has been seen by some as potentially setting him up as their franchise architect, as Joss Whedon is for all of Marvel’s live-action properties.
Would it be weird if down the road we have Grant Gustin playing a version of The Flash on TV while a different version played by an entirely different actor appears as The Flash in a Justice League movie? Well, first of all that assumes The Flash ever gets picked up to series by The CW, and last long enough for a hypothetical Justice League movie that might someday follow Batman Vs. Superman that would have to do well enough to warrant any follow ups at all. However, let’s say that all happens, would it be weird having two different versions of The Flash at the same time? Yeah, but WB/DC did it once somewhat recently, having the Tom Welling Clark Kent on Smallville at the same time as the Brandon Routh Superman in Superman Lives. Would they do it again? Nothing we’ve seen so far indicates they wouldn’t.
Plus, come on – it’s not yet 2014 and we’re talking about what they’ll do with Batman Vs. Superman, a summer 2015 release. That’s still way around the corner. The rumor mill between then and now is going to kill us.
How would you do an Arrow cross over into Batman Vs. Superman? Actually think keeping the entities separate with their own unique continuities is the better idea? Let us know in the comments section.