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Could DC be using its TV properties to fill out the ranks of the Justice League movie?

dc using tv properties fill ranks justice league arrow
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Stephen Amell, who plays a reimagined version of the DC superhero Green Arrow in the CW TV show Arrow, has “had discussion” about appearing in the Justice League film as his TV character, the actor told ComingSoon.

“All we have to do for something like that to happen, or even be a possibility, is continue to take care of business with our show and then we put ourselves in a position – but the important thing is our show,” said Amell. “I have had discussions, but I think the gestation process for this project is a lot slower than most people think. I mean, they haven’t even shot the next one. They haven’t even shot a frame of the movie before the movie everyone thinks is the Justice League movie!”

Arrow is mid-way through its second season, and is considered a lock to be renewed for third. The show retells the story of Oliver Queen, a playboy millionaire who, after being stranded on a remote island for five years, learns to survive by becoming almost superhuman, especially where archery is concerned. When he eventually returns home, he finds his city in need of a hero, so he uses the skills he learned to fight various nefarious forces.

The show diverges from the original comic books slightly, but the spirit of the character remains. The TV character is also mostly grounded in reality, so if the people behind the upcoming Justice League wanted to add him in, he probably wouldn’t have much trouble being accepted into that universe. There would be a few problems for the show itself though.

Arrow has gone out of its way to avoid superpowers, with one or two exceptions. The show went so far as to take well known DC villains like Count Vertigo and strip them of their powers, instead reimagining that particular character as a criminal pushing a new drug called “vertigo.” Oliver Queen is an exceptional athlete and warrior, but he is still a man. Tying Arrow into a universe with a bevy of super-powered characters like Superman and Wonder Woman might seriously change the nature of the show.

Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin
Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin Image used with permission by copyright holder

There is also the question of the Flash. He was one of those aforementioned super-powered exceptions introduced on Arrow (although he did not have any powers at the time). The character of Barry Allen (played by Glee’s Grant Gustin), aka the Flash, was introduced in Arrow as a springboard to launch a Flash TV series, which is moving forward. If the people behind the rumored Justice League movie are looking at Amell’s Green Arrow, does it then stand to reason that they are also looking at Gustin’s Flash? It would make a certain amount of sense, as both the films and the TV shows are under the Warner Bros. umbrella, so there wouldn’t be any legal issues.

CW was also recently developing a TV series called Amazon which would have starred Wonder Woman, but the project fell apart. There was no specific reason given as to why it won’t go forward other than a general sense that it wasn’t coming together like the studio hoped. The recent casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman probably didn’t help. There is no particular reason for WB to not allow the character to be portrayed in two different mediums – in 2006 Superman was represented simultaneously in Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns on the big screen and in Smallville on TV – but the studio may be taking a cue from Marvel’s own efforts to create continuity across multiple mediums. That again raises the question of what to do with both the characters of Green Arrow and Flash. Green Arrow isn’t a vital component of the Justice League, but Flash is.

DC could use two characters that are already established, without having to film  individual movies to introduce them. It would mean WB would miss out on the potentially lucrative windfall a major film could bring. And after the flop that was Green Lantern, that might be a risk the studio is happy to pass on.

For now, this is all just talk. The filmmakers behind the rumored Justice League movie are certainly exploring all options, but it doesn’t mean they will choose to go this route.

Ryan Fleming
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ryan Fleming is the Gaming and Cinema Editor for Digital Trends. He joined the DT staff in 2009 after spending time covering…
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