Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman may have kicked off DC’s big screen universe, but on television, it was the Green Arrow who started it all. While the Arrowverse is getting big enough to support its own Justice League team of sorts, the biggest DC icons are being kept off TV for no reason other than DC has other plans for them.
In an hour-long interview with Marc Guggenheim on Collider, the executive producer revealed the process that’s needed to bring characters into the “Berlantiverse” shows like Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. “A lot of times the conversation is, ‘Hey we want to do this character’ and DC’s like ‘No, we’ve got plans for that character in either this movie or TV show’,” Guggenheim explained. “My attitude is, this is DC’s toy box, they’re just loaning us the toys, they’re giving us permission to use their characters, but they are their characters. So it’s like, OK.”
Batman and Superman weren’t explicitly named, but Collider did conjure up examples in potential Easter eggs like the Daily Planet or the Gotham City Gazette. “Were I to do that and not ask DC for their permission, it would occasion a very uncomfortable conversation,” Guggenheim joked. (It is worth mentioning that Bruce Wayne’s Wayne Tech was featured as an Easter egg one time on The Flash.)
“[DC] are not only our partners, they’ve become my friends,” he added. “That’s the thing, we want to balance — we love doing that kind of stuff. At the same time, these are DC’s properties, and I want to be a respectful collaborator.”
Earlier in the interview, Guggenheim summed up why some characters are chosen for the shows and why others aren’t. In short, it comes down to whoever suits the story best. “Usually for us, it’s not about the comic book property that we want to do, we’re trying to tell a certain story,” he said. “So if we want to bring a character into Arrow or into Legends, yes we’re fans of the character but that’s not the only reason. We want to do this story and we think this character will help us tell that story.”
But what DC does or doesn’t want hasn’t stopped some of its TV stars, such as David Mazouz from Gotham, from having a few ideas.
Arrow will return to the CW on October 12 at 9 p.m. Eastern. Legends of Tomorrow will premiere on October 10.