James Gunn builds a new DC Universeand there’s a lot the upcoming franchise can learn from the Arrowverse. While Arrow was originally conceived as a spiritual successor to Smallvillethe Stephen Amell-led show ended up becoming the first entry in a DC TV franchise that’s been around for over a decade now. ArrowThe success of redefined what superhero TV shows could achieve, with the show’s legacy influencing not only DC CW shows, but other DC and Marvel productions as well. Now, as James Gunn and Peter Safran’s DC Studios craft a new DCU, the lessons of the Arrowverse can’t be ignored.
The Arrowverse shows, despite budget and structure limitations, brought the DC Comics Universe to the screen in a way that hadn’t been done before in live-action. Granted, the Arrowverse shows couldn’t use some of DC’s most important characters, including Batman and Wonder Woman, but they still managed to deliver an interconnected DC Universe. Shows with 23 episodes per season that span multiple seasons are very different in structure and budget compared to recent streaming hits like Peacemaker or Wanda Visionbut still, the Arrowverse has continued to run for over a decade and can serve as inspiration for James Gunn’s new DCU.
Arrow’s Initial Realism Shows Reeves’ Batman Could Work In Gunn’s DCU
Arrow season 1 and the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event couldn’t be further apart in tone, which only goes to show how organic Arrowthe evolution of in a fantasy world was. The first two Arrow the seasons were heavily inspired by Christopher Nolan Black Knight trilogy, which is not surprising given the success The black Knight and The dark knight rises has been. Arrow season 1 reminded me a lot batman begins and borrowed heavily from grounded comic book stories like Frank Miller’s daredevil, but ended up being the start of a comically accurate DC shared universe. Matt Reeves’ The Batman the universe could now do something similar.
James Gunn and Matt Reeves debunked the report that Robert Pattinson’s Batman would be incorporated into Gunn’s DCU, although Variety maintained the original story that this option was being considered. James Gunn has yet to reveal who Batman will be in the new DCU, meaning a storyline in which Robert Pattinson becomes the DCU’s Batman still can’t be entirely ruled out. If it is a case of semantics and The Batman becomes the first entry into a larger DC Universe, so Arrow is the best example of how to do it. ArrowBatman’s realism made it seem like a series-centric DC Universe would never work, and yet it did.
Gunn’s DCU must be built with patience (like the Arrowverse)
One of the original DCEU’s biggest mistakes was trying to immediately catch up with the MCU’s Avengers. Marvel had been crafting its universe since 2008 as DC moved from a Superman origin story to Steel man directly into a Justice League level event with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There was never a sense that the DCEU was heading for anything, as the second movie in this universe was already a massive crossover event featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman as well as cameos from the others. Justice League characters. The Arrowverse, on the other hand, was built with patience.
There are differences in creating a television franchise versus creating a film franchise. Still, the Arrowverse’s patience in building a universe has helped the DC TV franchise in the long run. For example, the flash only happened because Arrow was working. Instead of a traditional driver, the flashthe first test was in Arrow season 2, with Grant Gustin playing Barry Allen for the first time in “The Scientist.” Legends of tomorrowthe third entry in the Arrowverse, only happened when Arrow was already in its fourth season. Gunn’s DCU should follow a similar strategy rather than jump into another Justice League movie too soon.
Gunn’s DCU needs Arrowverse’s level of interconnectivity
Although the DCEU started an interconnected universe, with moments like Ben Affleck’s Batman appearing in suicide squad after batman versus supermanthe franchise lost that level of interconnectivity after Justice League. Naturally, the DCEU wanted to distance itself from Justice League, which had been a box office failure, but it lost what makes a shared universe interesting as a result. For example, Shazam! featured Superman’s infamous headless cameo, while Birds of prey only showed the Joker from behind. Wonder Woman 1984 was a prequel unrelated to the current DCEU timeline, and The Suicide Squad only Superman named. Gunn’s DCU needs interconnectivity, which the Arrowverse had.
From “Flash vs. Arrow” to “Armageddon,” the Arrowverse has become known for crossover events involving two to six shows at the same time. However, what really made the Arrowverse feel like a cohesive universe shared by DC was the small-scale crossovers. For example, the Flash would sometimes show up to help Green Arrow with a simple but important mission. Likewise, Oliver Queen sometimes hung out with the Legends of tomorrow, while Superman often jumped from one Earth to another to help Team Flash. Even before “Crisis on Infinite Earths” merged all of the DC CW Earths into one, the Arrowverse shows were already inherently interconnected.
Gunns’ DCU needs to have a solid foundation (like the Arrowverse had)
The Arrowverse was originally led by Green Arrow and The Flash, the first two superheroes in the DC CW franchise. Although the Arrowverse never had a real Justice League, Green arrow and flash were usually the leaders of the many crossover events they participated in. The Arrowverse revolved around Arrow and the flash, these two shows often serving as a starting point for new series. For example, Legends of tomorrow initially consisted of characters who had been introduced in either Arrow or the flash. In James Gunn’s DCU, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman could be mainstays of the new franchise in the same way.
Arrowverse’s tone suited DC characters (and can work in the movies)
While the DC Universe might be a bit more serious and darker than the Marvel Universe in the comics, not all DC characters work in the same tone as Nolan’s. Black Knight trilogy, for example. The DCEU was built on the Black Knight the success of the trilogy, as Steel man was really a batman begins for Superman, which offered great moments but also limited the universe. The Arrowverse, perhaps thanks to its smaller scale, wasn’t afraid to explore the different tones of the DC Universe, which includes characters, plots, and costumes. It’s something James Gunn’s new DCU should try to replicate.
Moments like Deathstroke killing Oliver Queen’s mother in front of him were part of the same universe where The Atom and Firestorm traveled back in time to make sure George Lucas would do star wars. From Oliver Queen’s Vigilante Crusade to Barry Allen and Kara Zor-El performing songs in a musical episode, the Arrowverse has never been limited to a specific tone. There was no character that couldn’t fit into the Arrowverse, which is perhaps the most important legacy of the franchise. by James Gunn DCU needs to nail the next Justice League movie, because there’s a lot more to it DC Universe waiting to be brought to the big screen.
More: Stephen Amell’s Season 9 Return Is Key To The Arrowverse’s Ending
. franchise DCU James Gunn can learn the Arrowverse