DC’s film and television projects will remain in separate worlds

DC isn't buying into a Marvel-style common universe.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Published Jul 21, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 10:22 pm CDT

Some DC Comics fans will be disappointed to learn that the CW’s Flash and Arrow TV shows will not be set in the same universe as the upcoming Justice League movie.

Following Marvel’s successful megafranchise of interconnected movies and TV shows, other studios are getting in on the action. Star Wars and X-Men are both getting solo character spinoffs on top of the predicted sequels, while Universal Studios is resurrecting a franchise of monster movies beginning with Dracula Untold.

DC Comics seems like an obvious choice to copy Marvel’s winning strategy. So far though, it just looks like Batman v. Superman will lead into a Justice League movie, and then probably some solo movies for characters like Aquaman.

Many fans were hoping that Arrow and The Flash would be connected with the Justice League franchise, much like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter are linked to The Avengers. Unfortunately, DC Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has now explained that the TV and movie universes for the new DC adaptations “are separate worlds.”

This clarifies matters, but it still leaves some fans confused about whether a TV Flash rules out a Justice League movie Flash, and so on. (We’re guessing no. If there can be two Bruce Waynes at the same time, then DC can have separate versions of other characters as well.)

@RothCornet DC not allowing Flash & Arrow to crossover into movie verse saddens me. They really are clueless

— Donny (@donnyc99) July 18, 2014

OK, so if you won’t put CW heroes in movies & the movie characters won’t be on TV, how do you do a Justice League movie? No Flash or Arrow?

— thisiscj® (@Crucifixio) July 19, 2014

If DC was smart they’d take the characters already established in Arrow and Flash and put them in Justice League. NOPE. Thats why they’re DC

— Christmas Miracle (@TheCraig5) July 20, 2014

Unfortunate that DC tv shows won’t cross with movies. Arrow maybe not but will definitely be a movie Flash. What if tv Flash is epic?

— Ali H. Abbasi (@themaholupper) July 21, 2014

The good news is that Arrow and The Flash will still share a universe with each other, going so far as regularly sharing characters and crossover storylines, including a two-hour double episode halfway through the new season this fall. 

“Between [Arrow and Flash], we’ll have half the Justice League on our two shows this year,” said Executive Producer Greg Berlanti. CW network president Mark Pedowitz added, “In the world we live in, ‘Flash’ and ‘Arrow’ share a similar universe. You will see — organically — characters shifting over, villains shifting over back and forth between ‘Flash’ and ‘Arrow.’ We will be introducing more villains that are part of the DC Comics universe.”

That kind of talk makes you wonder about other possible Arrow spinoffs, with the CW clearly aiming to get as much of a crossover audience as possible for its two current shows. 

Though some fans are disappointed, it isn’t hugely surprising to hear that DC isn’t going the way of a Marvel-style universe. There isn’t really a single editorial voice in DC Entertainment who has the same kind of multi-franchise control as Kevin Feige at Marvel Studios. And with ConstantineGotham and The Flash all launching this year, DC fans will still have more than enough to chew on, even if these new adaptations do all take place in different universes. 

Photo via the-absurd-nerd/Tumblr

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*First Published: Jul 21, 2014, 1:56 pm CDT